Crossing guard hit by car, recovering in Orange Park, deputies say

John Shatto, 83, has been crossing guard for 19 years

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - An 83-year-old crossing guard was transported to the hospital Thursday morning after an accident in Orange Park.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the guard, John Shatto, 83, suffered minor injuries when he was hit by a Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Horatio George, 73. He is expected to recover.

According to the FHP report, the crossing guard was in a marked crosswalk when he was hit by the left side of the car. The driver's side mirror could be seen dangling from the car after the crash.  

Shatto has been a crossing guard is Clay County for 19 years.

"I like to do it because I love to be around kids," Shatto said.

Investigators said he was walking back to his post after helping two students cross the street to Orange Park High School around 6:45 a.m. when he was hit by the car.

"I tried to get out of his way and his mirror must’ve hit me because I broke his mirror on his car," Shatto said. "My pain level is probably about a nine out of a 10," he said.

A few months ago, a 76-year-old crossing guard was hit by a Jeep in front of Oakleaf High School.

"This was the second one this year, the second crossing guard that was hit by a vehicle. It's very concerning to us," Lt. Kenneth Wagner, of the Clay County Sheriff's Office, said. "The ultimate message is (to) be very very cautious during these times."

The driver who hit Shatto said he didn't see him and feels very bad about what happened.

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