Family thanks Knoxville man for saving 6-year-old

10:29 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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Elijah Clark saves 6-year-old Choleigh Harris at a crosswalk on Hall of Fame Drive.

A little girl is safe thanks to a Knoxville man's quick thinking.

On Thursday afternoon, a worker with Cal Johnson Recreation Center was helping about seven children cross Hall of Fame Drive.

Knoxville Police say Elijah Clark noticed a car headed toward them, not yielding.

During that time, 6-year-old Choleigh Harris was in the middle of the crosswalk.

"Mr. Elijah was trying to stop the car and I was still going," Harris recalled.

Clark ran to the girl, picked her up, and tossed her onto a side bank.

The vehicle then hit him, injuring his arm.

"I asked him [Clark] what happened and he said, 'I tried to save your sister,'" said Cholly Harris, Choleigh's older brother.

Her mother, Lateshia Langston, went on to say, "I really appreciate what he done because I don't think nobody else probably would have done that for her."

Workers with Cal Johnson Recreation Center said they have been dealing with drivers not slowing down at the crosswalk for years.

Less than two years ago LightGuard Systems were installed at the crosswalk.

Lights surround the crosswalk and appear when someone is standing between the posts.

However, Langston said the lights do not always work and are hard to see in the daylight.

"I see cars flying and this doesn't work, doesn't help.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't," Langston said.

Langston wants to thank Clark for saving her daughter.

As of Thursday evening, Clark was in stable condition at UT Medical Center.

Mayor Madeline Rogero released a statement thanking Clark for his heroic actions saying, "I look forward to personally thanking him for his quick-thinking and unselfish actions."

Police cited the driver, 87-year-old Evelyn Crawford, for Failure to Yield in a Marked Pedestrian Crossing.

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A rec center employee is in the hospital after he ran in front of a car to save a 6-year-old girl.

It happened around 3:00 on Hall of Fame Drive. KPD officers say Elijah Clark, a Cal Johnson Rec employee, was helping seven small children cross Hall of Fame Dr. at a pedestrian crossing to attend after-school activities at the rec center.

Officers say Clark noticed a vehicle speeding toward the crossing, and a 6-year-old girl was still in the middle of the street. Clark ran to the girl and tossed her out of the way so she wouldn't get hit by the car.

The car hit Clark, and he was taken to UT Medical Center for treatment of an arm injury.

The driver of the car has been identified as 87-year-old Evelyn Crawford of Knoxville. She was cited for failure to yield right-of-way in a marked pedestrian crossing.

The 6-year-old girl was not injured.

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