Arrest in deadly hit & run of Spartanburg school crossing guard


SPARTANBURG Co., SC (WSPA) – Troopers say an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a beloved school crossing guard. 

Kenneth Gregory Sullivan, 27, of Spartanburg, has been charged with felony leaving the scene with death, driving under suspension and operating an uninsured vehicle-second offense, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The hit-and-run happened outside Jesse Boyd Elementary School on Fernwood-Glendale Road.

Emma Taylor was hit while helping several children on Oct 30. The 73-year-old crossing guard died more than a week after the hit-and-run in the hospital.

While law enforcement agencies including the S.C. Highway Patrol and Spartanburg Police Department, worked to find the suspect, her family has grieved since her death last month. 

“We cry,” said Taylor’s daughter Robin Robinson. “I mean we cry when we’re by ourselves, but we cry when we’re together and we’re talking about her because we just didn’t understand.”

Taylor leaves behind a daughter, son, granddaughter, and four great-grandchildren.

She also leaves behind the children she helped cross the road safely at Jesse Boyd Elementary School.

“She loved those kids,” Robinson said. “She’d talk about those kids, and that was just her world.”

Robinson said Taylor would have retired as a crossing guard this month. After the hit-and-run that claimed her life, the community showed an outpouring of support for Taylor’s family.

On Tuesday, Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson posted a video to social media, urging the driver who hit Taylor to turn themselves in.

“Because I can assure you, whoever you may be… We will find you, and we will bring you to justice,” Chief Thompson said. 

Just hours later, Kenneth Gregory Sullivan was booked into the Spartanburg County jail. A spokesperson for the Spartanburg Police Department could not confirm if the video led to Sullivan’s arrest. 

For Taylor’s family, the arrest was a relief.

“I feel like she can rest now,” Robinson said. “We have closure, so now we can heal.”

Robinson told 7 News she forgives the suspect, but she’s still angry.

And she’s still asking why he didn’t bother to stop.

Following the crash, troopers said there were few details about the vehicle that hit Taylor, which was  described as a dark-colored car.

South Carolina court records show Sullivan was found guilty of multiple offenses in Spartanburg County including:

  • Third-degree assault and battery in 2011
  • Unlawful carrying of a weapon in 2016

Sullivan’s other charges include several traffic violations.

He remains in jail awaiting a bond hearing. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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