Gardner crossing guard dies after being hit by teenage driver

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 7:56 PM CST
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GARDNER, Kan. (KCTV) - A Gardner elementary school crossing guard who was hit on Feb. 23 has died. Over the weekend, his family announced his passing. Many students and families in the community are grieving this loss.

“When me and Journey would walk home he would always say are you going on a cruise or a journey,” says Kruz McIver.

His jokes are just one of the many things 4th-grader Kruz says she’ll miss about her all-time favorite crossing guard, Dave Peavy.

On the morning of Feb. 23, as Peavy was on duty, he was accidentally hit by a teenage driver. It happened as the sun was coming up. The driver says he couldn’t see Peavy because of a blind spot in the sun’s positioning. Students had been pulling for Peavy’s recovery.

“When cars would go by, he would salute them and wave at them. And even if their windows weren’t down he would yell to have a good day,” says McIver.

McIver always looked forward to the end of the school day when she would be able to see her buddy, Mr. Peavy.

“I just love that she had that relationship with him. That she was able to come home with a smile on her face after talking to him every day. She struggles with mental health so it was a good thing he was in her life every day, even if it was just for two or three minutes,” said Cammie McIver.

Peavy was lovingly referred to as ‘the Gardner Santa’. He was a Vietnam veteran described as a teddy bear on the inside.

“He doesn’t know any of us really or our kids but just that simple wave just makes you laugh, makes you smile even someone who doesn’t know you who can put a smile on your face. That makes a huge impact especially in today’s world,” said Shawna Cortez.

In the end, it was the little things he did that left the biggest impact and a gaping hole in Gardner.

The community also wants to be clear they are not angry with the teenage driver, saying he also needs love and support during this difficult time. This is not the first accident that has happened at the intersection of Madison and Buckeye - several people say it’s known to be dangerous, but that Mr. Peavy did an amazing job of keeping their kids safe all these years.