LEONIA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Bergen County crossing guard risked his life to save a mother and her daughter, but he said he was just doing his job.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Charlie Lee has been helping people cross the street in Leonia, New Jersey for the past 15 years. He is posted every school day at the intersection of Broad Avenue and Fort Lee Road.
Lee takes his job very seriously, and last Friday morning, he proved it.
“Charlie was ushering us across the street, and a car came around; was ignoring his stop sign, and just came speeding, like around the block,” said Jamie Sclafane.
Sclafane was pushing her daughter, Ava, across the street in a stroller when the car came rushing toward them. Lee immediately jumped in front to keep them from getting hit.
“I say, ‘Stop!’” Lee said.
“He literally stopped in front of the car and made them stop,” Sclafane said. “I couldn’t believe he just would do that. The car could have hit him.”
Lee, a Korean immigrant, answered a newspaper ad for a crossing guard job in 2001. He has been doing it ever since, and this was not the first time he has put his life on the line.
Leonia police told CBS2 that last May, a driver hit Lee while on the job. He went to the hospital to be checked out, but did not miss a single shift.
Leonia police told CBS2 the junction of Broad Avenue and Fort Lee Road is a very busy intersection. Many people use the local roads to cut through from the New Jersey Turnpike to the George Washington Bridge, making the area very dangerous.
In August 2014, when Lee was not on duty, a pedestrian was hit. And in April 2013, a stolen New York City taxi jumped the curb at the intersection during Lee’s morning crossing – that time, miraculously, no one was hurt.
“He really just does an amazing job,” Sclafane said.