SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Bruce Fortin is an Air Force veteran. He runs a TV repair shop from home and volunteers as a crossing guard on Har-Ber Ave. in Springdale.
Bryan Rooney is his neighbor.
“He just said there was no reason for me not to do it, I [Bruce] was at the house anyways and the kids were crossing the road and no one was out there so it seems like he was a self-starter, took initiative, and went after it,” Rooney said.
Police say last Friday morning, Bruce was hit by a car while crossing the street. The driver said they were blinded by the sun and didn’t see him. Rooney says a neighbor nearby ran to help.
“His wife was still asleep,” Rooney said. “She didn’t even know so she ran and woke her up so there was just a feeling of general chaos and then the first responders got there and things settled down.”
It could be some time before Bruce is back out volunteering. His family says he suffered several fractures as well as a brain injury.
“It’s just been upsetting,” Rooney said. “Also, with COVID restrictions and Bruce’s head injury, we haven’t been able to talk with him.”
In the meantime, Rooney says the community is coming together to help support the family. One way their doing so is by raising funds through a GoFundMe.
“Income is going to be a real struggle until he gets back on his feet and able to repair televisions,” Rooney said.
Though speeding wasn’t a factor in this accident, Rooney hopes it still serves as a reminder to drivers to be cautious while driving through school zones.
“I don’t think the crosswalk is in a bad spot,” Rooney said. “I think just a little more signage indicating there’s a big slow down would probably go a long way.”
Rooney says they’re keeping in touch with the family as Bruce recovers at the Brain Trauma Center in Missouri.