Accidents at football games lead to safety reminders

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Traffic at south entrance to THS. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Albert Flores, Building and Grounds Monitor for Tecumseh School District, has been directing traffic at Tecumseh home football games for as long as he can remember without an incident, until Friday, Sept. 20. While directing traffic after the game, Albert got hit once, then twice, and was down but not out.

“He just didn’t see me,” Flores said of the Tecumseh resident driving the car that knocked him down. “It just happened so fast.”

Traffic was unusually heavy, as was the rain. Flores sustained injury to his knee, but did not lose consciousness. He was very thankful the car that hit him was traveling at a slow speed.

“It just shocked me,” Flores said. “My whole leg was numb.”

An ambulance and two fire trucks arrived quickly with help for Flores. Local doctor, Dr. Riccardo Giovannone, examined Flores who was asked if he wanted to go to the hospital for a further examination.

Flores declined an ambulance ride to ProMedica Herrick Hospital. “In my mind I wanted to be strong for the kids,” said Flores. “I didn’t want anyone to worry.”

After traffic began to thin out, Flores had his wife drive him to the hospital. He was told the leg was badly bruised, and was given a brace to stabilize his knee.

This was the second injury accident after a Tecumseh football game this year. A Tecumseh couple sustained injuries on Thursday, Sept. 12 after being hit by a Tecumseh driver in the parking lot of Pioneer High School following the football game.

Flores was right back on the job soon after the accident looking out for the kids as they get to school. He has even stopped students he felt were putting themselves in danger, sharing his story of how accidents can happen.

Athletic Director Greg Lewis believes the Friday night incident was not related to traffic flow issues or dangerous driving on the part of fans, but is still conscious of making safety a priority.

“I’ve asked the police chief for help, and he’s going to lend help,” Lewis said.
“This is not a common occurrence,” said Tecumseh Police Chief Troy Stern. “The officers will formulate a plan with the school, and obviously they will assist in getting people in and out of there safely.”

Flores and Lewis remind people attending the football games to keep an eye out for kids walking and on bikes and add extra time to maneuver the parking lots, especially when the weather inhibits visibility.

“Be really alert and careful,” said Flores.

There will also be no change for Flores in his work at Friday night football games. “I don’t leave until every kid is gone,” he said. “I want to make sure every kid gets home safe. I don’t mind staying.”

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