Prude Death Investigation

Crossing guard honored for saving the lives of 3 children 35 years ago

Local News

A local crossing guard who sacrificed her life to save the lives of a group of children was honored Monday.

In 1982, Bertha Gawens, an Irondequoit Police Department crossing guard, jumped in front of three children to protect them from a car which had run a red light. Gawens was struck by the car, and was in a coma due to her injuries. She succumbed to her injuries five years after the accident.

On Monday, a sign was erected in memory of Gawens at the intersection of Chestnut Hill Drive and St. Paul Boulevard in Irondequoit, near the site of the accident.

“This is awesome,” said Officer Kylee Nichols. “The smiles on their faces and even some of the tears, I would assume just from them remembering Ms. Gawens. It’s an incredible feeling. I’m so glad we were able to do this and really honor her and her sacrifice.”

Efforts to create a memorial have been in the works for the past year. 

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