Published 12:00 am Friday, August 9, 2002
By SAM R. HALL
Motorists were given a harsh reminder Thursday to watch for children walking to and from school when a Charles Henderson Middle School student was struck by an oncoming car as the student attempted to cross the street.
Courtney Brassell, 11, was still undergoing tests and evaluations at Edge Regional Medical Center Thursday evening after he was hit by a 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by 28-year-old Thelma Wheeler of Troy, according to information released by Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage.
Sgt. Bennie Scarbrough said the accident occurred just before 3:20 p.m. near the intersection of Elm and Academy streets. An officer directing traffic at the nearby Elm Street intersection of Gibbs Street was able to quickly respond, Scarbrough said.
According to reports from officers at the scene of the accident, Brassell, a Troy resident, was walking westbound from the school toward town. The accident took place on the slope of the hill just east of the intersection.
"I don’t think visibility was a problem for the driver," Scarbrough said. "Judging by where (Wheeler’s) car was, you can tell that she tried her best to avoid hitting him."
No arrests were made.
Brassell was conscious at the scene prior to transport by ambulance.
"I don’t know if he ever lost consciousness. That’s not clear," Scarbrough said. "But he was conscious when the ambulance took him to the hospital."
Scarbrough said the hospital was performing a CAT scan and possibly other tests before making a diagnosis. A hospital spokesperson would not release any information on Brassell’s condition.
The accident, Scarbrough said, is a sharp wake-up call for both motorists and pedestrians signaling the need to use caution near schools.
"We have a lot of kids that are traveling those streets walking home. People need to be aware of these kids walking, as well as these kids walking need to be aware of safety measures that can be taken," Scarbrough said.
This incident is one of few pedestrian-related automobile accidents in school areas, Scarbrough said, but motorists and pedestrians need to exercise extreme caution in that area.
"People have to be aware that we have a lot of traffic on those streets. You have four schools that you are dealing with in just a few blocks," Scarbrough said.