LA Council looks to improve crossing guard program following fatal crash near elementary school

A crash near Hancock Park Elementary School last month killed a woman and critically injured her 6-year-old daughter.

City News Service
Friday, May 5, 2023
LA Council to improve crossing guard program after crash near school
The Los Angeles City Council approved a report this week, calling for ways to expedite the process of hiring more crossing guards after a crash killed a woman and critically injured her 6-year-old daughter near Hancock Park Elementary School.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a report on Wednesday, calling for ways to expedite the hiring of more crossing guards, driven by a sense of urgency after a crash that killed a woman and critically injured her 6-year-old daughter near Hancock Park Elementary School on April 25.

The council instructed the city's Department of Transportation to work with the Los Angeles Unified School District and seek ways to reducing the time it takes to complete criminal background checks and obtain medical clearance.

"While the district continues to push for the expedited hiring of crossing guards, we also know that crossing guards alone won't solve the problem of pedestrian safety and therefore we are also in support of the amended motion

language that also considers other measures that may enhance pedestrian safety,'' LAUSD representative Genesis Coronado told the council during public comment.

RELATED: LA to consider speed bump proposal after mother killed, child hurt

A day after a mother was struck and killed while walking her 6-year-old daughter to school in the Mid-Wilshire district, city leaders will consider a proposal to add speed bumps near every elementary school in Los Angeles.

Council members instructed the city's Personnel Department to report back on the feasibility of utilizing initiatives such as the Targeted Local Hire and Bridge to Jobs programs to recruit and hire crossing guards. The council is also considering the feasibility of implementing a cash referral program.

Transportation staff will provide a progress report on their efforts to hire more crossing guards, and the department will provide the LAUSD with a list of prioritized school locations eligible for a crossing guard.

Lastly, the council instructed the transportation department to consider the use of flashing lights and cameras to enhance pedestrian safety around schools, increase law enforcement, look at best practices of other locations and jurisdictions, and install more speed humps around schools.

The Los Angeles Police Department said the fatal crash on April 25 "appears to be a tragic accident'' that resulted from the driver experiencing a medical emergency.

Ghadah Abduljabbar, 33, died at the scene of the crash near Ogden Drive and Colgate Avenue in the Mid-Wilshire area, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported. The girl -- a first-grader at Hancock Park Elementary -- was hospitalized.

Abduljabbar and her daughter were walking in a crosswalk when they were struck by a southbound pickup that subsequently crashed into an apartment building.

Nick Melvoin, the LAUSD board member representing the Fourth District, addressed the council's Transportation Committee the day after the crash and urged the committee to enact measures to ensure public safety around


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