Southside Place Woman Recovering After Struck By Car

October 16, 2009

A 24-year resident of Southside Place is recovering with a broken leg after being struck by a car yesterday near Lamar High School, where she works as a Chinese and English teacher.

Around lunch time, Lynette Gaido and Susan Boyd, the Lamar Principal’s secretary, were crossing the street at Westheimer Road to get something to eat. A car driven by an elderly man turned from River Oaks Boulevard and hit both women in the crosswalk.

“It was like a movie: arms and legs in the air, somersaulting,” Gaido said. “I think I flipped 2-to-3 times. I remember falling on my front and my leg slapping the street. I knew when I heard that slapping sound that something was broken.”

She was right: Her leg was broken in three places, requiring surgeons at Memorial Hermann Hospital to install metal rods to piece the bones back together, she said. Boyd escaped the accident with cuts and bruises and is at home today recovering, said Lamar spokeswoman Tina Thompson.

Miraculously, a group of fire marshalls were standing at the school’s entrance and they saw the accident happen.

“I looked up and saw a sea of blue running towards me,” Gaido said. They tried to stabilize her condition until the ambulance arrived.

An elderly man was driving the car that struck Gaido and Boyd, and Gaido said he apologized profusely multiple times. The Houston Police Department did not respond to a request for more information before the deadline for this story’s publication. InstantnewsWestU.com will update the story as soon as possible with information about the driver and whether police cited him for the accident.

Gaido said she never learned the driver’s name, but she felt sympathy for the man because he felt so terrible about the accident.

“That’s why they call them accidents, the don’t happen on purpose,” she said. “It makes me realize personally, in my car, I need to be more careful about pedestrians. I’m sure there will be a lot of lessons learned from this.”

Gaido said she thinks the intersection at Westheimer Road and River Oaks Boulevard is dangerous, because the crosswalk signal turns to “walk” at the same time the green light changes for cars on River Oak turning left onto Westheimer. Lamar’s 3,000 students use the intersection multiple times daily, to catch the bus, go to lunch, and more.

“There should be a sign or something saying ‘pedestrian crossing’ or something like that,” she said. “But I’m not raising a flag. I want to get back to work.”

Before she returns to teaching Chinese, Gaido must complete physical therapy. She may need to use a wheelchair until she recovers, since her job requires hours of standing. But that’s not what was on her mind when Lamar Principal James McSwain visited her in the hospital yesterday.

“I said ‘Please, I’m concerned about my Chinese classes falling behind’,” Gaido said. It’s difficult to find substitute Chinese teachers.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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