Two teachers at Millennium Charter Academy were injured as school dismissed on Wednesday, when a car ran onto the sidewalk in front of the school and struck one teacher who fell against a second teacher. The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m.
The teachers, both female, with identities not immediately available, were struck while working outside dismissal duty at the school, according to Surry County Emergency Services Director John Shelton. He said the driver of the vehicle, a gray Nissan, had an already-existing medical condition which caused her to lose consciousness and control of her vehicle, which is when she ran onto the sidewalk in front of the school.
One of the teachers was transported by ambulance to Northern Hospital of Surry County. The driver of the gray Nissan was also transported by ambulance to the hospital. The second teacher refused treatment at the scene, and said she didn’t think she was struck by the car, only struck by the teacher who the car hit. Shelton did not have details on the extent of the injuries, or a condition or identity of the driver.
Although there was some chaos at the time of the incident, with parents, teachers, and students at the scene crying and emotional, Millennium Charter Academy Headmaster Kirby McCrary said the school delayed its official dismissal by just 15 minutes. He added that parents with children at the school were notified immediately of the incident via Twitter, emails, and the use of a school phone tree.
“We are very grateful for everyone, all of the crews who came out to help. This has been handled very well and we want to express our thanks for such a quick response. We really appreciate the help of the police department and emergency services,” McCrary said immediately after the incident.
McCrary confirmed that the accident occurred during dismissal, and said both teachers were on dismissal duty. He added that the school has “wonderful faculty who really jumped into plan B” as soon as the accident occurred and everyone followed the school’s previously established emergency procedures.
Students were kept inside after the accident, and released one by one as parents arrived. Students could be seen with their faces pressed up to every window, curious about the situation. One student was overheard saying she was “very nervous,” because she thought the person hit by the car was her cousin. Teachers and staff members were comforting students as they left with hugs and assurances that “everything will be okay.”
McCrary was overheard telling his staff and teachers gathered in front of the school that he was proud, because they responded “incredibly well.” “I could not believe how wonderful you handled this,” he said.
“These are our babies, too,” one of the teachers responded.
The situation was described as “organized chaos” by Shelton, with the Mount Airy Police Department immediately on the scene, directing traffic in what could have become a very confusing situation, Shelton said. Traffic was stopped for emergency vehicles to enter and exit the charter school, which is located on Old Springs Road in Mount Airy, off of Riverside Drive.
No additional information was immediately available. Updates will follow at mtairynews.com .