Kansas City Schools crossing guard killed in crash - KCTV5 News

Kansas City Schools crossing guard killed in crash

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A crossing guard for Gladstone Elementary School died at a Kansas City area hospital after he was struck and killed by the driver of a green truck, authorities say.

James Suman, 64, was the crossing guard at Gladstone Elementary School in the Kansas City School District. He worked for a private contractor.

He was struck about 6:30 a.m. at 7th Street and Van Brunt Boulevard as he was walking to work, authorities said. The deadly accident happened down the street from his home.

"I didn't hear him leave, I didn't hear any impact or any sirens. I didn't hear beans," said Suman's wife Bonnie.

Outside the Suman's home there's a pile of James' clothing, including his reflective school crossing guard clothes. Along with the clothing is the sign he lugged to work every day. James had them when he was fatally hit. He was trying to catch a bus to go to work at a school.

Many questions are running through his wife's head about the accident.

"I was wondering if she was going too fast and lost control, you know," said Bonnie.

KC police said the female driver appeared shaken after the crash. She remained at the scene following the crash and then left with police as part of their investigation.

Investigators said it was dark at the time of the crash but know James was wearing a reflective school crossing guard vest.

"We're unsure of speed yet or what she was doing in the truck that would allow her to not perceive him in the roadway," said Jim Fuller with the KCMO Police Department

Chopper5 showed debris from the vehicle was strewn across the road, which is in Northeast Kansas City.

For almost 20 years Bonnie said she and James were together.

"He was fun, had a sense of humor, and he liked to live and enjoy life," she said.

He retired from being a security guard but wanted to keep working. Before leaving for work, James brought his wife her breakfast in bed, just like she said he did every day.

"I don't know what I'm going to do without him," said Bonnie. "He did everything for me."

A spokesman for the Kansas City School District, Andre Riley, said Suman will be missed.

"Our hearts go out to the family of James Suman," he said. "We offer our thoughts and prayers to the Suman family as they cope with this tragic loss. We take the safety of our students very seriously, and we are grateful for dependable, caring adults such as Mr. Suman who made sure our students arrived to and from school safely every day."

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