Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Sarah Dallof and Amanda Butterfield ReportingA father and daughter were hit and killed while on their way to kindergarten. They were hit by a car around 12:30 p.m. Monday, while they were using the crosswalk at 5300 South and 1300 East.
"Now my granddaughter will not see age six. My son will not see age 30," said Nancy Ostler.
Don Ostler, 29, always walked his daughter Gwyndalyn to kindergarten. The crossing guards knew them both well.
"The first day of school that little girl was reluctant," the crossing guard told us.
It was father-daughter time. Family tells us Gwyndalyn was the only kindergarten student who used the crosswalk in the afternoon, that's why her dad always walked with her.
Monday afternoon they were walking in the crosswalk when a car hit them.
Witness Krista Griffeth said, "[It's] awful to think this would happen and people aren't more cautious."
The driver is 86 years old. Don Ostler's mother, and Gwyndalyn's grandmother, says that driver should not have been on the road.
"I've worked with the elderly, and there's a time you have to say, 'You can't do this anymore,'" Nancy Ostler said.
"From the police reports we just read, and the police we talked to, he did not appear to be fit," she said.
Police won't say yet what caused the driver to hit the two people, but they do tell us speed was not a factor. Whatever the reason, Nancy Ostler is sure it shouldn't have happened.
"My son did not have to die today. My tiny granddaughter did not have to die today," she told us.
Ostler is finding what comfort she can. She said, "My granddaughter was going to be six in three weeks. She was just entered into the gifted program. At five years old, she wanted to be a doctor."
Witnesses say paramedics arrived at the scene very quickly, but it just wasn't enough. Frances Martin said, "They worked and worked and worked on that child, and they had to give up."
Another witness, Bill Crawley, said, "It's not something I wish I'd seen. I wish I'd never had to see it. I wish I hadn't come by after the accident."
Murray Police Department Detective Kenny Bass said, "We see a lot of bad things in our job, firefighters as well. Anytime you have a child, it's gut-wrenching."
Witnesses say the school zone lights weren't on, and the crossing guards, who only patrol during rush hour, weren't working.
Ostler has a plea for drivers. She says, "Slow down, watch for pedestrians, please. This might have been your son or granddaughter."
Investigators say at the time of the accident the roads were pretty dry. They also say from witness reports the driver of the car didn't appear to be speeding.
The 86-year-old driver was not hurt. He was taken into police custody and has since been released. Police are running toxicology tests to see if alcohol or drugs may have been involved. They also did other tests to determine if he is fit to drive.
Don Ostler leaves behind a wife and a young son.