NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Wednesday crash on Briley Parkway has left behind a heartbroken family and the community wondering why four teens were not in school at the time of the incident.
Shortly after noon on Wednesday, Oct. 19, witnesses saw a car speeding on the interstate when the driver lost control and crashed into a wooded area. Inside the vehicle were students ages 14, 16, and 17 years old. The 14-year-old died in the crash.
“It is always sad anytime the community loses a young person,” said Jennifer Wade with the Davidson County Juvenile Court.
Shortly after the crash, questions from the public started circulating, and questions were raised about why these students were not in class.
“It’s important not to blame the parents because nine times out of 10 the parents are going about their day, they’re at work, and they have no idea that their child decided to leave school or go with friends or whatever the circumstances might be,” explained Wade. “And on the flip side, it’s not that child’s fault. We have all experienced and done things that hindsight, looking back on it, we could have made better decisions particularly being a child you don’t understand the gravity of some of those situations.”
On Thursday, Oct. 20, Metro Nashville Public Schools confirmed three of the teens were enrolled at Hunters Lane High School. The other teen attended Republic High School.
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A spokesperson for the district told News 2 they couldn’t speak on whether or not the teens had showed up for school, “due to FERPA, however, school was in session during the time of the accident.” The District also confirmed, students “are not allowed to leave for lunch.”
“It’s a very serious circumstance, and we want to just make sure that other young people can learn and understand that it is important for the adults, whether that’s a parent or a school personnel to know where you are and that you’re safe,” said Wade.
Data released earlier this year by MNPS revealed more than 30% of students were chronically absent during the last school year.
Metro police are now charging the 17-year-old driver with vehicular homicide charges. Police claim that the driver admitted to consuming four beers before the crash.