MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A small memorial of flowers and a stuffed animal remain where a student of a Rutherford County school died Friday morning after being hit by a pickup truck.
A spokesperson for Rutherford County Schools said the crash happened near a school bus stop on East Main Street, near Juliet Avenue, in Murfreesboro. Friday was the first day of school, a two-hour day, and the student had ridden the bus and recently got off before the accident.
A neighbor in the apartments across the street prayed as she dropped off flowers and a stuffed animal, where she says the girl died. The neighbor told News 2 that she heard the commotion this morning and raced out to see if there was anything she could do but that it was too late, saying “she was gone.”
The school district said it is working with the Murfreesboro Police Department in its investigation. The student’s name, school, age and grade level were not released as the family has requested complete privacy.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the student’s family, and all those who are impacted by this tragedy,” Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Sullivan said. “We respect the work of our local law enforcement as they investigate.”
Another neighbor who helped console the driver of the truck said it is a tragic accident for everyone involved.
“He seemed freaked out, he was freaking out. He didn’t seem out of it, like I really do think it was just a freak accident. I feel really bad for the family I do, but also I feel bad for the guy like he’s got to live with that and I told him straight up it’s heavy stuff. It’s heavy stuff for the family too, but I really feel really bad for the guy. He’s going to have to live with that,” Danielle Nelson explained.
She went on to say it’s a busy roadway, pointing out that there aren’t any sidewalks.
“People do run across this road all the time and we got walkers down this road and walkers down that way. It’s pretty, especially with the college being right there, we’ve got a lot of people who don’t have cars over here so, I mean, they are kind of everywhere,” said Nelson.
Murfreesboro police said while the driver stopped they are searching for the driver of a gray Toyota Tacoma pickup who may be “a vital witness” to what happened. They reiterated that a school bus was not involved in the incident.
East Main Street from Rutherford Boulevard to Twin Oak Drive was closed while investigators worked the incident that occurred around 10:25 a.m. The roadway reopened around 1:30 p.m.