May 17, 2021

Heightened awareness at HCHS after two students struck by vehicles

(Franklin, GA) — Two student pedestrians were injured after being struck by vehicles in the main Heard County High School parking lot in two separate incidents last week.

Fortunately neither student was critically injured in the accidents involving teen student drivers, but Principal Brent Tisdale says school officials are working to remind the students about the hazards associated with pedestrians and drivers.

“Clearly, we are concerned with what happened in our parking lot last week as student safety is a priority for us,” said Tisdale in a statement this week.

“In fact, at the beginning of the year, we asked students to use the covered walkway to get between the CTAE/band buildings and the main building (rather than cutting through the parking lot) for safety reasons. We now have all teachers come outside with students at dismissal, so we have as many adults out there as we can.”

In  light of last week’s incidents, Tisdale had a meeting with student drivers Friday afternoon. 

“After the incident on Friday, we had an assembly with all student drivers. We had an honest conversation about expectations and responsibilities regarding driving both on and off-campus.  We all know teenagers think they are invincible, but these accidents and the tragedies from recent years needed to be addressed,” said Tisdale.

The first incident on Monday afternoon, occurred when a 16-year-old junior male student driving a tall 2006 Ford Pickup Truck backed into a fellow 16-year-old junior female student as he backed out of a parking space to leave. The girl was transported to a hospital by a parent to be checked out and did not suffer any severe injuries and was later released.

It is believed that the sun may have played a factor in the second accident that took place Friday morning before school. In that incident an 18-year-old male senior driving a 2002 Nissan Maxima struck a fellow 17-year-old female student as she was walking across the parking lot. The driver stated in a report to the Franklin Police Department that he never saw the student before hitting her.

The female student in this case was transported to the hospital by ambulance where she was treated and later released. She reported this week to be very sore but did not break any bones. She did break the front windshield of the Maxima upon impact.

Both accidents are being treated as accidents and no charges were field in either case. The morning sun has been an issue in the past in the parking lot with at least one reported accident occurring earlier this year when a tech worker struck a utility pole. Speed was not considered to be a factor in either incident.

Principal Tisdale says he is thankful the injuries last week weren’t more severe and says the school will continue to be proactive about safety.

“The parking lot and the sun have not changed since the building was erected over a decade ago, so we talked with students about being responsible behind the wheel as they come on campus and about being alert and attentive as they walk from the parking lot to the school,” says Tisdale.

“Ultimately, we want them to know that we love them and don’t want to see anyone else hurt. I believe God was looking out for our kids last week and I’m hopeful that the conversation and experience will cause our kids to drive safer. “


  1. Brenda Niner says

    Praise God they were not seriously injured.

  2. Shannon price says

    This school needs a drivers education course for all students in high school before they are legally allowed to get their license

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