Remembering one man while honoring another

Clearwater, FL -- As the school year approaches pedestrian safety is always a top priority. Last May a man whose job was to help get students across the street safely became a victim himself.

On Tuesday a fellow crossing guard was honored in his memory at a ceremony at Clearwater Police headquarters.

It started out as a typical day at work for Norman Runkles the crossing guard was getting some training when his name was called out.

Runkles was caught off guard when he was presented with the first ever "Doug Carey Crossing Guard Award."

"I don't know what to say about it," said Runkles. "Total surprise to me."

The retired firefighter worked alongside Carey for several years and considered Carey much more than a colleague.

"I just became a grandfather and he did recently and I had asked him about being a grandfather and stuff like that so, we had personal conversations as well as work," said Runkles.

Doug Carey was killed in the line of duty. He was working this intersection of Belcher and Gulf to Bay in Clearwater when he was hit and killed by a driver who took off.

The deadly accident happened in May.

Police later caught up with Julius Johnson, who was charged with the 70-year-old man's death. Investigators say Johnson hit Carey and caused a multi-car crash after he ran a red light.

Carey leaves behind a widow who attended the awards ceremony. She was still too emotional to talk to 10 News, but accepted a blanket as a token of her late husband's services.

Runkles acknowledges the dangers of the job, but says it has to be done.

"We'll do our jobs and just our training because that's what keeps us in our jobs and we just have to keep moving forward," said Runkles.

The Doug Carey Crossing Guard award is a way to remember one man while honoring another.


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