Crossing guard supervisor Kathleen Quinn was patrolling an intersection at Culbreath Road and Nature’s Way Boulevard in Valrico on Wednesday when a car “swept through” the area, ignoring her commands to stop, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
Without hesitation, Quinn grabbed the 7-year-old who had been walking her bike across the street.
“I saw her coming and I put my arm out to make sure Madeline didn’t get hit by the car,” Quinn told the sheriff’s office.
Ultimately, she prevented what could have been a truly tragic accident, according to officials.
“She stepped into harm’s way to protect a child from a reckless driver,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “I am overwhelmed with pride to say she is part of our team of dedicated crossing guards who treat every child on their route as their own and ensure they get to and from school safely.”
The young child’s mother, Mia Carlson, had witnessed the near-tragedy while waiting for her daughter on the other side of the road and reported “Quinn’s heroic actions” to the sheriff’s office.
“As a mother, I was really so thankful for her,” Carlson said. “You can’t rewind something like that.”
The sheriff’s office said Quinn’s act of heroism exemplifies the valuable role crossing guards play in helping children get to and from school safely.
“Ms. Kathleen Quinn is nothing less than a hero,” Chronister said.