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Pulaski County (Ark.) School Security Officer Fatally Hit Directing Traffic on First Day of School | #schoolsaftey

Victor Montgomery with the Pulaski County Special School District was directing traffic on Highway 10 and Cantrell Road when a car hit him.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A school safety officer with the Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) died Monday after he was fatally hit by a car while directing traffic during drop-off on the first day of school.

Victor Montgomery was directing traffic on Highway 10 and Cantrell Road between Robinson High School and Robinson Elementary School when a vehicle traveling westbound hit him and dragged him several yards before coming to a complete stop, reports THV11. Another PCSSD employee called 911 and Montgomery was taken to a hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Montgomery, referred to as “Paw Paw” by Robinson High School Principal Jay Pickering, worked with the district for seven years, serving the high school and assisting with traffic at the elementary school.

“These PCSSD security personnel put their life on the line by standing in these roads to direct traffic and they may not have LRPD or Arkansas State Police written on their chest but they should still be taken just as seriously,” said Jessica Duff, communications director for PCSSD.

The driver has been identified as 55-year-old Desmond Nkala of Little Rock, according to Cindy Murphy, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Public Safety. Nkala was not a student parent or school employee and is cooperating with the police. He consented to testing and no impairment was suspected. Murphy said an investigative case file will be presented to the prosecuting attorney, who will determine if any charges will be brought against the driver.

School District Previously Requested Crosswalk

Murphy said she did not know how fast Nkala was going when he struck Montgomery. However, a press release from the school suggests speeding has been an issue in the area.

“It is imperative for motorists to slow down in school zones. There are three schools within walking distance of each other in this area of Highway 10/Cantrell Road,” said the release. “There is absolutely no reason for any motorist to drive above the speed limit in this area any time of day, much less during school drop off and pick up time.”

The high school and elementary school are located across the street from each other and Robinson Middle School is about half a mile up the road.

“We would really utilize a light that we could control traffic with,” said Superintendent Charles McNulty. “I think that’s the key — just flashing lights is not what we need.”

The district also says a request made years ago for a crosswalk wasn’t fulfilled, partly due to the location of the schools. The elementary school is on a county road, McNulty said, while the middle school and high school are on a state road.

The majority of requests for state road changes go through the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT). Spokesperson Dave Parker said everything on that road is up to code.

“Based on all the state law requirements, it had everything in place to warn drivers that they were approaching a school zone,” he said.

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