School crossing guard in critical condition after hit-and-run

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A Spartanburg County school crossing guard is in critical condition after a hit-and-run on Tuesday. 

Highway Patrol investigators say it happened on Fernwood-Glendale Road near Jesse Boyd Elementary School. A spokesperson for Spartanburg District 7 tells 7News eight students were present when the incident happened. 

Students, parents and the faculty at Jesse Boyd Elementary are rallying around the school’s beloved crossing guard Emma Taylor. 

“Dear Emma, I love you so much, my sweet little darling woman. I’m sorry you got hurt and I hope you feel better soon, sincerely C.J. Billings.”

On Tuesday, while helping students safely cross the road a car hit Taylor and took off. 

“And it’s just unreal. It’s unreal,” said Robin Robinson, Taylor’s daughter.

Robinson says her mother was the crossing guard at Jesse Boyd for the last four years. The 73-year-old also held the title of state crossing guard of the year in 2015, among many other accomplishments. 

“Before that she was the second Black African-American female to work at Spartanburg City Police Department,” Robinson told 7News. 

Robinson says above all her mother pushed off retirement, because of her love for her students. “Everyday it was a different story about a different child, so that was like their second mommy,” she said. 

Tori Billings says she’s gotten to know Taylor from being in the carpool line everyday. The mother of three says she’s seen firsthand just how reckless drivers are in that area. 

“I want to say that I wasn’t surprised to be honest unfortunately, because this has been an issue that we’ve all tried to voice for a while now. But devastation, complete devastation,” Billings told 7News. 

Billings’ sons wrote letters to the crossing guard that means so much to them. It’s been encouraging for Taylor’s family, but they still want closure. 

“We have a long road ahead of us,” said Robinson. “We are going to make it, but we just want this person to be caught and to find out why. That’s all we want to know is why.” 

Highway Patrol says this is still an ongoing investigation. They have yet to identify the car or any suspect(s). 

Taylor’s family has started a GoFundMe which you can find here. 

A spokesperson for District 7 share this message: 

Just wanted to let you know that our children at JBE have crafted hundreds of get well cards for Ms. Emma. Tomorrow the art club will be creating a banner for her hospital room and the Principal tells me that as soon as her family determines what Ms. Emma will need most, going forward, they will rally together as a school community to do something.
 

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