School crossing guard remains hospitalized

Cary Ashby • Updated Aug 30, 2019 at 3:40 PM

Charges are pending in a crash involving a school crossing guard who was hit by a pickup truck and remains hospitalized.

Shirley J. Prater, 70, of Norwalk, was the victim in the injury accident about 8 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Main and Pleasant streets. Sgt. Brian Gockstetter, of the Norwalk post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said according to the report, Prater sustained a right rib fracture, fractured left shoulder and jaw, punctured right lung, was missing teeth, a broken humerus and brain bleeding.

“Charges will be pending on this,” Gockstetter said Friday. “There were no alcohol or drugs suspected, so no aggravated circumstances.”

Troopers investigated the crash because Prater is employed by the Norwalk Police Department to be a crossing guard for Norwalk City Schools. 

Benjamin R. Kluding, 42, of Monroeville, was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, when he attempted to make a left turn from Pleasant Street onto Main Street. While making the left turn, he hit Prater, who was crossing in the crosswalk, troopers said.

North Central EMS transported Prater initially to Fisher-Titus Medical Center while Kluding wasn’t injured, according to the patrol. The trooper’s report indicates Prater sustained suspected serious injuries.

Prater remains hospitalized at the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Gockstetter said.

Once the patrol completes its investigation, troopers will forward the report to the Norwalk Law Director’s Office for the consideration of charges.

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