Minor changes to intersection near Sangaree Elementary School

Natalie Boles

By Sonya

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Natalie Boles, the 35-year-old crossing guard that was hit by a car back in May while patrolling traffic on Royle Road, will be returning to work at Sangaree Elementary next week.

"It was sort of a slow recovery, but at this point she is doing fine and she will actually be back with us this year as a kindergarten assistant," said Alan Wilson, principal at Sangaree Elementary.

While Boles won't be a crossing guard anymore, some minor improvements have been made in hopes that no one else will get hurt.

"They expanded the entire parking lot, the front parking lot, so that we can bring probably 30 to 40 additional vehicles off the road and then we made a turn lane out of our parking lot where before there was...if a car turned left, it was going to stop the entire flow of traffic," said Wilson. "Now there are about a line of seven cars that could be turning left that would not just completely stop everything."

The Berkeley County School District wanted to get as many cars out of the intersection as possible and the school board approved of the cost. Parents and school administrators had petitioned for a traffic light after the accident, but the officials with the highway department couldn't justify the cost.

"The highway department has done a couple of studies over the years and essentially what they are saying is you have a lot of traffic for a very short period of time and it's only 180 days to put a traffic light there. They need turn lanes, hundreds of thousands of dollars for the turn lanes for a very short period, basically a couple of hours a day during the time that school is in session," said Wilson.

Mr. Wilson has a few tips for people as school resumes next week.

He says give yourself plenty of time to bring your children to school, carpool if necessary or even look into having your child ride the bus. But he says the most important thing is to be patient and pay attention when you are in school zones.