Prater was the crossing guard for Pleasant and West Main Street until she was hit by a vehicle while crossing in the crosswalk Aug. 27.
“Thank God that she survived,” police Chief Mike Conney said. “I can tell you as a police chief there is nothing more gut-wrenching than hearing radio traffic and immediately realizing it’s one of your people that’s severely injured.”
The Norwalk Police Department awarded Prater with a certificate of commendation.
“Your love of and concern for the safety of our children was displayed daily as you assisted them in safely crossing your busy intersection,” Conney said as he read from the plaque. “The city of Norwalk owes you a tremendous debt of gratitude for putting yourself in harms way in the service of our most precious and vulnerable citizens; our children.”
Prater’s mother, Dorothy, sister Nancy Jaimes and her great-nephew Adam Workman attended the presentation.
“God absolutely loves Shirley Prater and looks out for her,” Conney said. “Her family is amazing, an awesome family, that also loves and cares deeply for her.”
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.
Prater said she has started rehab for her arm and she’s having the screws in her jaw removed soon.
“I should be back to normal as soon as possible,” Prater said.
Councilwoman Samantha Wilhelm thanked Prater and said it was a miracle she’s recovered.
“I drive by that intersection every single day and those kids really appreciated you,” Wilhelm said. “We’re thankful for you, Shirley.”