HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Hickman County family said they are counting their blessings as their child recovers after being hit by a car.
“She’s a very lucky girl,” stated her mom, Mary Neely.
The mother described the turn of events as “terrifying” as she sat in her car Tuesday afternoon, waiting on her daughter to return home from school.
“I see Chloe getting off the bus. I see a car coming this way at a high rate of speed,” she explained, saying she then jumped out of the car, but it was too late.
Just feet from their driveway, Chloe was hit by the incoming car.
“It all happened so fast,” the mom explained.
Centerville police said the school bus was stopped on Hwy 100 eastbound with the bus arm stop sign and flashing lights activated, but the driver traveling westbound didn’t stop.
“He was just driving too fast for even normal conditions, much less the rain,” Neely said.
Speed is part of the investigation as police review the school bus surveillance video.
“He did stay on scene and was even still there as the ambulance took off,” said Neely.
Chloe was first taken to a hospital in Dickson and then Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
“She has broke the maxilla bone,” the mom pointed below her nose. “She has lost one tooth. The canine on the right side she’s lost completely and will need an implant because it was a permanent tooth. The incisor on the right side has been knocked out of socket. She has some road rash on her chest and abdomen, but other than that she has no internal injuries, no broken bones; she’s a very lucky girl.”
It’s been a horrifying experience for the family.
“She has autism,” Neely explained, saying, “She remembers everything. She’s told just about everybody she’s seen that she’s been hit by a car. It’s going to be traumatizing for a while, but I think she will be okay.”
The mother hopes sharing their story will raise awareness to drivers about school bus safety.
“Just slow down. Just slow down in all conditions, but especially during rain.”
Neely also said something has to change to keep children safer around school bus crossings.
“I would love to be an advocate for that so no other parent has to go through what we are going though, and what we could have been going through had this outcome been a whole lot worse.”
On Wednesday night, Neely focused on holding Chloe a little tighter, realizing this story could have had a different ending.
“I am praising God that my baby is still with me,” she said.
The driver isn’t currently facing any charges as the investigation continues.