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Fort Lee Daily Voice serves Fort Lee, Leonia & Palisades Park

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Breaking News: Driver Ignores Cones After Paramus Route 17 Crash, Injures Bergen Sheriff's Officer
DV Pilot police & fire

Closter woman jailed in hit-and-run knockdown of popular Leonia crossing guard


ANOTHER CVP SCOOP: The mother of the late R&B singer Gerald Lavert’s son was taken to the Bergen County Jail today after turning herself in to Leonia police on charges of knocking down a popular school crossing guard with her SUV and then taking off.

No fewer than five witnesses told police that Bridgette Pursley struck Charlie Lee Wednesday afternoon at Fort Lee Road and Broad Avenue, one of the busiest and most dangerous school crossings in North Jersey, and then left the scene, authorities said.

Lee stepped in front of Pursley’s silver Lexus RX 350 while trying to safely cross a group of schoolchildren just after 3:30 p.m., Detective Sgt. Chris Garris told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.

Pursley slowed down, exchanged some words with Lee and kept going, knocking him down, the sergeant said.

Lee, 52, was treated at a local hospital for minor elbow injuries, he said.

A short time after the incident, Pursley called police, who Garris said directed her to return to the scene.

“She said she was busy and refused to come back,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Police tried calling her back, but Pursley didn’t answer, said Garris, who went with Detective Michael Jennings to her Closter home on Friday and, not finding her there, left a message.

Then they texted her.

Around 11 o’clock this morning, Pursley came to police headquarters “saying she wanted to give a statement,” Garris said.

“At that point we notified her that a judge had issued a warrant for her arrest,” he said.

“No one has to tell anyone around here how dangerous that intersection is and can be,” Garris told CLIFFVIEW PILOT , citing the death of a 60-year-old pedestrian who was dragged nearly 70 feet from the corner by a school bus last summer. “We take this very seriously.”

As for Lee, he said: “Interview the parents and they’ll tell you how much they love the man. He protects their children.”

Pursley, 49, who had bit parts in a pair of low-budget films, briefly operated Dog On It Doggie Daycare next to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.

She remained held on $2,500 bail in the county jail this afternoon, charged with leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury and hindering her arrest.


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