LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – A high school student in Lebanon was hit by a car in the parking lot, and now his mother is voicing safety concerns.
“He has some pretty severe abrasions on his hands, he, according to the witnesses I’ve talked to, he went up in the air, back on his feet and fell back, and hit his head on his backpack,” Tobi Pruett told News 2.
The incident happened on Nov. 17 as almost 2,000 kids were being dismissed at Lebanon High School.
Pruett’s child wasn’t severely hurt, but he could have been—and that’s her point.
Surveillance shows a person crossing the road in front of exiting traffic. A silver Nissan Sentra is seen on video driving around the line of cars and slamming its brakes, hitting the pedestrian.
That pedestrian was Pruett’s 16-year-old sophomore, who was able to get up but had cuts and bruises. He reportedly went to the school’s office immediately after.
Meanwhile, the 17-year-old driver of the Nissan drove away.
“Children were screaming, ‘You’ve been hit by a car!’ and he was kind of dazed. They all rolled their windows down to try and find help and there was no adult out there to holler for,” Pruett told News 2.
She showed us a photo taken weeks after the incident that shows some of the injuries to her son’s hand. She said he also had deep bruising to his lower body and knees.
“He hit his head on his back pack, thank the lord, so he had no head trauma. I’m thankful he’s not on an intubator in the hospital,” Pruett said.
The mother-of-two says more should be done to ensure student safety.
“They drive erratically, there is no monitored traffic plan, they go every which way, and move the barricades they are not supposed to move,” Pruett explained.
Lt. Scott Moore with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department says deputies do a good job providing a safe campus for students and staff.
“Absolutely. I think we are. At the end of the day, it is always our goal to make sure that everyone is safe,” he said.
Lt. Moore told News 2 that two SROs are assigned to Lebanon High. They patrol both the inside and out of the school.
“We can’t be everywhere at one time. However, if something comes up and we get info something has happened, we will investigate it to its fullest extent,” he explained.
According to Moore, as soon as the incident was reported, an SRO watched the surveillance video, determined who the driver was, and went to the 17-year-old’s house to confront him.
“The SRO was very diligent in his efforts to investigate the situation,” Lt. Moore noted.
The 17-year-old was cited for leaving the scene, not having insurance, reckless driving, and failure to give immediate notice.
“It’s our goal at the sheriff’s office and the school system’s goal to work in conjunction to make sure we provide a safe environment,” Lt. Moore told News 2.
School officials also say the driver’s parking privileges were revoked until February, and those privileges won’t be reinstated if he cannot prove he has insurance.
“We sincerely regret that one of our students was hit in one of our school parking lots. We’ve always had administrators and an SRO supervising afternoon dismissal, but with 1,200 inexperienced drivers all leaving at the same each day, this can be quite a challenge. We’ve asked our staff to be more vigilant, in light of this incident, and our principal has issued a warning to students to be more cautious of their surroundings, regardless of whether they’re behind the wheel or walking to their own car. It is our hope that this is an isolated incident,” said Wilson County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson.
And as far as insurance for situations like this, she adds, “Any time a student is injured on school property, an accident report is filed with our insurance company, Tennessee Risk Management, for review.”