Bellevue sixth grader hit by car in crosswalk; driver arrested for aggravated assault

Child hit by car in school crosswalk

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A sixth-grade student was hit Thursday morning in a crosswalk outside Bellevue Middle school. The driver, 24-year-old Symeria McKinley, was arrested for aggravated assault, reckless driving and driving without a license or insurance.

Police said a crossing guard was on duty at the time and escorting the student through the crosswalk. According to the affidavit, the crossing guard said she was walking the student across the street, clearing northbound traffic, and when she turned around the car hit the student.

Police say Symeria McKinley was speeding when she hit a student in the crosswalk outside Bellevue Middle School Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Source: Shelby County Jail)
Police say Symeria McKinley was speeding when she hit a student in the crosswalk outside Bellevue Middle School Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (Source: Shelby County Jail)

Witness Darryl Tory said he was in front of the school when he saw a car speeding by.

"Before I could get it out of my mouth, she hit the little boy in the crosswalk and I seen the little boy fly up in the air," said Tory.

He took a photo of McKinley’s car and license plate in case she drove off.

“It brought tears to my eyes to see what had happened to that young man and for her to do what she did. She told me I don’t need to take pictures of her car. She was using profanity. She was telling me to get away from her car," said Tory.

Sixth grader Amethyst Partee said she is friends with the student who was hit.

“We had 15 minutes, like a moment of silence, to pray for him,” said Partee.

Witnesses said they were horrified by what they saw.

"She knocked him out of his shoes and his socks and everything," said Tory.

The sixth grader was taken by ambulance to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Lieutenant Colonel Keith Watson with MPD said they do several things to ensure Memphis has safe school zones.

“And that’s engineering the striped street, the school speed limit signs such as 25 to 15 mph in each of the school zones, along with the presence of a school crossing guard [and] along with uniform offices,” said Watson.

Parent Crystal Grandberry is angry about the situation.

"I'm very angry about that because I think adult driver's just need to pay attention .. They need to stop speeding. They need to take time," said Grandberry.

The student is listed in stable condition.

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