Teen killed on I-24 hit-and-run while helping mom change tire - WKRN News 2

Teen killed on I-24 hit-and-run while helping mom change tire

Posted: Updated: April 12, 2014 01:15 AM CDT
Clifton Braunwalder was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on I-24 in Smyrna. Clifton Braunwalder was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on I-24 in Smyrna.
Clifton Braunwalder, 13, was changing his mother's tire at the time. Clifton Braunwalder, 13, was changing his mother's tire at the time.
Tina Wilson, 33, is charged with vehicular homicide, among other charges. Tina Wilson, 33, is charged with vehicular homicide, among other charges.
The crash occurred under the Sam Ridley Parkway overpass. The crash occurred under the Sam Ridley Parkway overpass.
SMYRNA, Tenn. -

A 13-year-old boy was killed on Interstate 24 in Smyrna, Rutherford County Thursday after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while changing his mother's flat tire.

Tina Wilson is now behind bars on several charges including vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault.

Police said Wilson, 33, of Murfreesboro, was driving at a high rate of speed in westbound lanes of I-24 near Smyrna when she switched lanes and lost control.

Wilson's car crossed over the center lane into the emergency lane under the Sam Ridley Parkway overpass.

She struck Clifton Braunwalder, 13, narrowly missing the boy's younger sister.

Braunwalder's mother, Sondra, was also hit as she stood in front of the car.

SLIDESHOW: Teen killed in I-24 hit-and-run

The family was transported to StoneCrest Medical Center where the boy was pronounced dead.  The mother was treated for an ankle injury and later released.

Family members said Clifton was involved in sports, Boy Scouts and served the community.

"Clifton was a sweet young man who was strong in his faith and had a smile and a joke for everyone," they said in a statement.

The family attends St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Murfreesboro and the 8th grader, who was home schooled by his mother, was very involved in the church's youth group.

"Pretty much anytime we had a volunteer opportunity you knew Clifton was one who was always going to show up for it," said Brandon Quigley, the victim's youth director.

Friends said the family was on their way to a church event when they were struck.  They tell News 2 Clifton was just finishing changing the tire at the time.

Another motorist who saw the driver, Wilson, flee the scene, followed her and contacted authorities.

Officers took Wilson into custody a short time later at a business park off Harding Pike and Metroplex Drive.

She was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash and failure to give immediate notification of a fatal crash.

She was released on bond but rearrested Friday morning on charges of vehicular homicide for killing Clifton and aggravated vehicular assault for striking his mother.

News 2 has learned that at the time of collision, Wilson was taking her passenger, Jennifer Hernandez, to AMC of Nashville, an addiction medicine care clinic on Metroplex Drive.

In a brief encounter Thursday night, Hernandez told News 2 their car was hit by another vehicle.  That detail, however, is not noted in the Tennessee Highway Patrol's traffic report.

"I don't know what happened," Hernandez said. "They won't tell me s^$#. We didn't hit a child.  A f*^$!@# truck hit us. A truck hit us and we went spinning and they f*%$&# flew off.  We did not hit [anyone]. I don't know [anything] about anyone getting hit."

News 2 spoke with one of Wilson's neighbors Friday. Kimberly Bailey said she was shocked when she heard about the accident.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh. She really did that? Ran over that poor 13-year-old little boy?' I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' I almost cried because I love kids anyway," explained Bailey.

Wilson is being held without bond. Bailey says she feels better knowing that her neighbor will not be behind the wheel.

"I would be anxious, scared because she would be on the road, and it would be kids out playing," she said.

Wilson is scheduled for her first court appearance on July 25.

In lieu of flowers, the Braunwalders are asking for contributions to one of the organizations close to their son including the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America Summer Camp Campership Program, MTSU's Catholic Center, Nashville's Rescue Mission, and St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church's Youth group.

Donations can be mailed or dropped off at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church located at 1601 North Tennessee Boulevard in Murfreesboro.  Call 615-893-1843 for more information.

Powered by WorldNow

441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210

Telephone: 615.369.7222
Fax: 615.369.7329
Email: news@wkrn.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Nashville, LLC. A Media General Company.