Knoxville — An SUV hit a Vine Middle School student in front of the school Tuesday morning, according to Knox County Schools.
Knoxville Police said the call came in around 8:30 a.m. and Knoxville Police, Knoxville Fire, and American Medical Response were sent to the scene which was at the front of Vine Middle Magnet School on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue.
According to Knoxville Police, the boy's mother, Anissa Badgett, reportedly pulled illegally into the middle turn lane of the road and let her son out who then ran across the road and in front of an oncoming car.
The child, 12-year-old Elijah Hanford, had exited the passenger side of the car, ran in front of his mother's vehicle and into the path of a Chevrolet Suburban. The driver of the SUV tried to stop but wasn't able to avoid hitting the child, according to KPD.
"The school zone for Vine goes off at 8:05 (unlike other middle schools) so the active school zone speed limits and lights had been off for 30 minutes prior to the incident," KPD spokesperson Darrell DeBusk said in an email to 10News Tuesday.
A witness, Minnie Cutwright, said the boy's mom told her his leg was broken, and he went to UT Medical Center.
"This could've been one of our children," Witness Renetta Sheadrick said. "It could've been ours."
Knoxville Police confirmed the child was transported to UT Medical Center for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
Cutwright said she was outside on the front porch with Sheadrick when they heard it happen. They say a van driven by a man hit the boy.
"I saw him go up, and then he slid," Cutwright said.
Cutwright and Sheadrick told 10News they've wanted to see a crossing guard in the area because they say traffic on the road in front of the school moves too fast.
"We need somebody, we had to come out here the other day to stop traffic ourselves to let children through," Cutwright said.
DeBusk said speeding or lack of a crosswalk or crossing guard had nothing to do with this particular incident.
"We are asking families not to drop off and pick up students along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, but rather, to use the car rider line. We are in the process of evaluating traffic patterns for safety and will communicate any changes to our families," Knox County Schools spokesperson Carly Harrington said in an email to 10News.
The witnesses say their grandchildren go to Vine, and are thankful the boy's injuries weren't worse.
"We just pray that he's going to be okay," Sheadrick said.