Gagner's Mother, Grandmother Calls for More Crossing Guards

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The mother of the fourth-grader in Rice Lake who was killed about four weeks ago on his way to school is pleading with the city council to add crossing guards to the area.

10-year old Austin Gagner lost his life June second when he was halfway across South Wisconsin street at Carson, an intersection with no crossing guards and no school zone signs.

Jennifer Parker and her family are so convinced that a crossing guard would have saved 10-year old Austin Gagner's life.

They're raising their own money to make sure a crossing guard is at the intersection of Wisconsin and Carson streets this fall when students return to class.

Parker and Pat Broker say they watch traffic go by the intersection, which is right outside the house Austin lived in.

They say traffic normally goes much faster than it did in front of our cameras, and certainly faster than the posted 25-mile an hour speed limit.

"It's like it never happened, but you know what? To most of these people, it never did, because it had no effect on their lives, and i think that's bull," she said.

Family members have been appealing to city and school leaders ever since the incident.
They had five crossing guards in 2005, and are staring at a six-figure deficit this year.

"Because we do have an estimated deficit of $800,000," said City Administrator Curt Snyder, "It seems it's pretty hard to imagine we'd be able to increase the number of protected locations."

Parker says she's starting from the bottom up, and even if she has to guard the intersection herself when kids go back to school, she will.

For more information or to make a donation:

Jennifer Parker
125 South Wisconsin Ave.
Rice Lake, WI 54868

(715) 790-3319