Town meets to talk school drop off after teacher’s death

HEBRON, Conn. (WTNH)– Parents and teachers call it a major traffic problem. They say the drop-off system at RHAM high school and middle school gets too chaotic. And earlier this year that “chaos” quickly turned into tragedy.

Beloved teacher Dawn Mallory was struck by a parent’s SUV in the parking lot. She later died. So Thursday night folks came together to voice their safety concerns and come up with a solution.

Teachers told News 8 they’ve been complaining about the traffic problem for years and back in June an attorney on behalf of the Dawn Mallory estate filed an intent to sue with the town citing the layout was dangerous and defective. Many echoed that belief Thursday.

About four months ago colleagues said goodbye to 65 year Dawn Mallory.

Dawn Mallory, math teacher at RHAM Middle School.
Dawn Mallory, math teacher at RHAM Middle School.

“If this was your child, if this was your husband, if this was your wife or your mother you’d want something done and you would have wanted it done a lot sooner than four months after the accident,” said George Deliman, Rham Middle School teacher.

George Deliman was her colleague, but on March 14th he became a first responder.

LINK: Intent to Sue

“I was the first one of the scene to perform first aid. I don’t ever want to go through that again, ever in my life. Never,” said  Deliman.

He was the first of several to speak at Thursday night’s hearing in front of other teachers, parents, and an engineering firm hired to solve the traffic problem with both the middle school and the high school sharing the space. Many say it’s too chaotic, with too many cars and not enough signs to direct people.

“I’m hoping that some improvements are made and soon,” said Kathy Shea, high school parent.

“Who knows better than the people that drive here everyday?” said Malcolm, Hebron resident.

James Ford agrees he from the engineering firm Beta group in charge of making recommendations to the board to improve drop off and pick up at school.

“The public does have some  very good ideas they know the operation better than I can learn it in a few weeks,” said Ford.

Some ideas are staggering release times, limiting parking for students, and rerouting traffic. Teachers News 8 spoke to say they need a fix now and they needed it years ago.

“Something needs to be done by the start of school,” said Deliman.

They plan to make Short Term recommendations by August 1st so that they can get those done before the school year. If you want to read more about the potential civil suit, click here.

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