A student at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro was killed after being hit by a dump truck while crossing an intersection near campus.
Murfreesboro police said David "Ritt" Chitwood, 28, was in his wheelchair attempting to cross Greenland Drive at Middle Tennessee Boulevard just after 9 a.m. Friday when he was struck by the vehicle trying to make a right turn.
Chitwood was transported to Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Chitwood was a junior at MTSU majoring in mass communication.
Dr. John Dougan had known Chitwood for several years and had taught him in a couple of classes. He described Chitwood as an "unbelievably optimistic and incredibly cheerful person."
In 2006, Chitwood was involved in a serious accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was in a coma for about a year before returning to MTSU to pursue his degree.
"Nothing ever seemed to get him down. He was always going forward. As hard as the work was at times, he persevered. He was a pretty remarkable guy," said Dr. Dougan.
In a statement issued Friday, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said, "It's a tragedy anytime MTSU loses a member of the university family, particularly when it involves one of our students. Our deepest sympathies are with the Chitwood family, who will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time." Counseling services will be available at MTSU to any student who wishes to use them.
Charges weren't immediately filed against the driver of the dump truck.