FAIRVIEW, Tenn. (WKRN) – A former Fairview police officer has been arrested and charged in connection to a crash earlier this year that severely injured a 17-year-old.
Witnesses say the teen, a student at Fairview High School, nearly died that night almost seven months ago when he was hit by Officer James Hill’s police cruiser.
It happened on April 28 and reports indicate the teen was helping another man push a disabled pick-up truck out of the road in front of the high school.
Hill, 31, hit the stalled truck, hurting himself, two teens and a 43-year-old man.
News 2 has now learned Hill turned himself in Wednesday in connection with that crash and faces multiple charges, including reckless aggravated assault.
Linda Hall said she vividly remembers the night of the accident. She lives across the street from the school and witnessed the heroic efforts used to save the 17-year-old boy’s life.
“He was really hurt – crushed between a car and a truck – between a police car and a truck,” she recalled.
According to the mother of three, she knew the wreck was bad when rescue crews had to cut her fence to get to the teenage boy.
“I could hear people hollering and saying the boy’s name, saying, ‘Come on. Don’t give up. Stay awake,’” she said. “I thought, ‘He is seriously hurt.’”
According to investigators, the truck’s flashers were activated at the time of the accident. The teen victim, and the truck’s owner, a 43-year-old man, were pushing the truck when the police cruiser smashed into them.
Hall told News 2 the young man is recovering, but he was seriously hurt.
“He had multiple surgeries and a lacerated kidney,” she said.
According to City Manager Scott Collins, Hill was a police officer in Fairview for one year and he joined the force last November.
“It is regrettable,” Collins said. “Thankful that everyone involved is physically safe. The young adult is looking at recovery. That’s positive news, but there is clearly evidence that makes it a serious charge. The city will comply with the THP and the DA. There is evidence there, that you need to be concerned with, clearly there is a training opportunity here. From what I see, we need to makes changes in the police department based on those charges.”
Hill resigned from his position last Sunday and was indicted by a Williamson County grand jury the next day.
According to the indictment, Hill failed to exercise due care, maintain safe lookout and devote full time and attention necessary to avoid endangering life, limb or property.
Hall told News 2 the officer should have been paying attention.
He has since been released on a $10,000 bond and is due back in court December 2.
Attempts to reach Hill for comment proved unsuccessful.