Millville, NJ (WTXF) A Millville, New Jersey, community is coming together to help out a crossing guard who was hit by a car.
"Cars have come this close to me. But once you get hit it's frightening," said Mattie Rilley while sitting in the living room of her Millville home with a cane and two bruised knees. One of her knees is in a brace.
"She hit my knees. I fell over the hood of her car and then when she hit the brake I came back off of the hood. But thank God I landed on my feet and not on my head," said Mattie.
She was hit by a car last month at the intersection of Harrison and Sharp Street while doing the job she has loved for the past 17 ½ years. At 81 years old, Mattie is still a crossing guard.
"'I'm a firm believer in God and without him I wouldn't be here today," said the vibrant woman with an infectious smile and strong faith.
She says she worked five days a week, three hours in the morning, three hours in the afternoon, at three different stops.
"I love it. Those kids they help me as well as I help keep them safe. They make me want to live. They make me want to get up in the morning and get dressed and come out to cross them," said Mattie.
Before the accident she had replacement surgery on one knee and she’s a diabetic so she’s had major surgeries on the other knee too. But Mattie maintains a sense of humor thinking about the students who she calls her children.
"I know they miss me but sometimes they don't want to listen and I stick to rules. So maybe they say well we don't have to walk the cross walk now," she laughed.
The community started a collection for the beloved crossing guard. The Incredible Bulk Store on High Street is the drop off site. Mattie says she’s shocked at the community’s outpouring of support.
"Just to know that they cared. That my 17 1/2 years wasn't for nothing,” she said.
Mattie started this job almost immediately after she retired from her main job as an I-S Machine Operator in a glass factory. She is the first woman to hold that position.
Meanwhile, a police reports states the woman who hit Mattie will be issued a motor vehicle summons for careless driving and failure to comply with a crossing guard’s sign.
To send donations to Mattie, please contact the following.
101 N High St, Millville, NJ 08332