'He was my guardian angel that day': Sister of Halifax's Wray Hart recovering after collision
HALIFAX -- A Halifax crossing guard says she's convinced her late brother was watching over her when she was seriously injured in a collision last month.
Betty Kerr, who has just been released from hospital, is the sister of Wray Hart, a well-known Halifax bottle collector who was struck and killed by a drunk driver two years ago.
Clearly in pain, but grateful to be home from hospital, Kerr has a long road to recovery ahead of her.
Her arm and pelvis took the worst of the impact and are now held together with medical screws and steel plates.
The long-time crossing guard says she'll never forget that terrible day almost three weeks ago.
"I heard, 'Bang!' and I just had time enough to turn my head and I saw that grey little Hyundai coming at me and, I'm like, 'Dear God,'" Kerr said.
Police were called to Oxford and Norwood streets at around 8:30 a.m.
Kerr happened to be in the wrong place when one vehicle struck another vehicle, which then slammed into her.
"I was just airborne at that moment, but I felt that big, huge bang and I'm just flying," Kerr said.
In the end, the driver got a ticket for failing to yield, and Kerr got 19 days in hospital.
Across town in Dartmouth, there have been plenty of prayers said for Kerr at the First Church of the Nazarene, where she's considered a friend and valued parishioner.
The pastor -- a crossing guard himself -- has had his own share of near-misses, and says the incident should send a message to Halifax drivers.
"Slow down, pay attention," said Rev. Ralph Yarn. "That extra minute's not going to matter a lot, but it could cost a life."
In an eerie set of circumstances, all of this is too familiar to Kerr and her family.
Almost exactly two years earlier, her brother Wray Hart was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Halifax.
Twenty-three-year-old Dennis Patterson was handed a two-year prison term, but Hart was never far from Kerr's mind during her long stay in hospital.
"I'd say he was my guardian angel that day," Kerr said. "I would say he was there, making sure I was not going to die like he did."
So, with a long healing-process ahead, Kerr manages as best she can and is grateful to be home, and grateful, too, for a brother always on her mind -- and perhaps closer than she knew.
Kerr has kept a small vial of Hart's ashes in her home; the rest are buried in the family plot in Hackett's Cove.
Halifax Regional Police released accident statistics for the month of January on Tuesday. There were 13 vehicle-pedestrian collisions last month.
Both Kerr and Pastor Yarn say that's 13 too many.