Fifth grade teacher Claire Wilkerson, age 29, was injured after a gray Nissan, driven by Carolyn Flippen, 65, ran up on the sidewalk, striking Wilkerson. Both Wilkerson and Flippen were transported by ambulance to Northern Hospital of Surry County.
Wilkerson was treated in the emergency room for a knee injury and released on Wednesday night, Millennium Charter Academy’s Lu Ann Browne said on Thursday afternoon.
At the scene, Surry County EMS Director John Shelton said Flippen was suffering from a pre-existing medical condition which contributed to the incident, but could not release further details. Flippen was also transported to Northern Hospital of Surry County, where she remained Thursday, according to a hospital representative.
Wilkerson was on dismissal duty at the time of the accident. Another teacher, Kim Sawyers, age 39, also on dismissal duty, was evaluated on the scene but refused transportation to the hospital. Shelton said it was suspected that Sawyers was also struck by the vehicle, but on the scene she said she thought she was only struck by Wilkerson as her colleague fell into her.
Browne said teachers at the charter school had previously received instruction on how to do “reactive listening” with the students, and all teachers were instructed to use the techniques in class today, in case any questions about the accident came up. Browne said teachers were answering questions as students had them, and taking the situation seriously. “The students had to understand what happened, but we have not had anyone very upset, which is great,” she added.
Browne also said Wilkerson would take a few days off and added that she and the rest of the school were “very, very thankful it was no worse than it was.”
“As a parent, I am so thankful for our faculty and our staff about how well they handled it. I could not say enough good things about the Mount Airy Police Department, the EMS, the fire department, and the rescue squad. We are very fortunate to have them here in Mount Airy and Surry County,” Browne said.
Assisting on the scene were Surry County EMS, Mount Airy Police Department, Mount Airy Fire Department, and the Mount Airy Rescue Squad, Shelton said. It took around 30 to 45 minutes to clear the scene.
Shelton said staff and teachers at Millennium did a “great job handling it, absolutely great.”
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