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Heroic PE teacher pushes mother and children from path of car

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A physical-education teacher at A.K. Suter Elementary School in Pensacola is being called a hero after he was struck by a car this morning near the school while he protected children.

Patrick Judd was transported to Baptist Hospital. Colleen Kirsch, spokeswoman for the hospital, said Judd was in good condition this morning.

Deputy Superintendent Norm Ross said witnesses saw Judd push a mother and her two children out of the path of an oncoming car.

By doing so, Judd took the brunt of the hit and suffered a leg injury.

District officials applauded Judd’s selfless actions Friday.

Laura Richards, 37, dropped off 6-year-old Abigail for school this morning and was crossing the street while talking with Judd.

She had 2-year old Laura Sophia sitting on her hip and 4-year-old Isabella holding her hand as she walked.

“He jumped back to take the full impact,” Richards said of Judd. “I don’t really know what happened. It happened so quickly but when it was all said and done we were safe on the side of the road and my daughters’ flip flops were still on the pavement.”

Richards said she know Judd because she sees him every morning and afternoon doing crossing guard duty. The last day of school before Christmas break, Richards said, Judd wears a Santa Claus costume while guiding traffic.

“We’re so grateful,” she said. “We pray for him and that he’ll be alright. If if he hadn’t been there it would have been us. My two little girls are so tiny.”

“The incident this morning was certainly an act of heroism,” Ross said. “It doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s been a longtime employee and has demonstrated throughout his career his dedication to students and the school.”

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said he was proud of Judd’s service to the schools.

“This is just another example of the dedication of our employees in this district,” Thomas said.

In 1999 Judd won the Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award from the county.

Read more and see the family he saved: ‘An act of heroism’

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