BELLMAWR — Not even her bright uniform was enough to keep her safe.

A 9-year-old girl who serves as one of her schools' student safety patrols was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Monday.

The driver surrendered to police on Tuesday after news media shared several surveillance photos of the white pick-up truck.

Paul Criscione, 66, of Egg Harbor City, was charged with assault by auto, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury, and several motor vehicle summons. He was released pending a court date.

The school district has several students serving as safety patrols outside schools. The patrols, who wear bright or reflective colors, help direct students to safe crossing locations.

It was not immediately clear on Wednesday whether a crossing guard was nearby when the crash occurred Monday because officials did not return New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.

According to the AAA, the national School Safety Patrol Program began in 1920.

Lt. William Perna said the girl is a member of the safety patrol at the Ethel M. Burke School.

She was wearing bright colors and was on duty with another student helping others cross Walnut Avenue when the pickup turned onto Walnut Avenue from the Black Horse Pike.

The girl was taken to a hospital with minor injuries to her head, arm and leg. She was later released.

"She's going to be sore for a little bit," Perna said. "She's very, very fortunate."

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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