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YHC student hit by truck, no major injuries

March 16, 2011

Cathy Cox, president of YHC, YHC Police and YHC administration rush to the intersection at School Street and Duckworth Street to where a YHC student was hit by a truck. The nose of the truck can be seen in the right-hand side of the photo. Photo by Ashton Jones.

By Kathleen Layton, Editor-in-Chief

While leaving her Design I art class from the Fine Arts Annex, a female Young Harris College student was hit by a truck while crossing Highway 76. The truck was driven by a male YHC student.

Students leaving the Fine Arts Annex typically return to campus by using the crosswalk from School Street onto Duckworth Street. Erica Ware, a student at YHC, followed this same route when she was hit by a dark blue 2005 Chevrolet Colorado.

According to Georgia State Trooper Lovell, after being struck by the truck, she walked around 15 feet towards the annex and before sitting down on the north shoulder of the highway. The driver was turning left towards Blairsville from Duckworth Street when he hit Ware in the middle of the crosswalk.

Lovell stated that the driver did not see Ware in the crosswalk, but when he hit her he immediately stopped.

Classmates Kelli Denning, a freshman from Fanning County, and Luis Arteaga, a junior from Union County, witnessed the accident. According to Denning and Arteaga, they were walking a few feet in front of Ware when they heard tires screeching. They turned around in time to see their classmate hit by the truck and scream as the truck hit Ware.

“We heard her screaming,” said Denning. “It was just God-awful hearing her scream.”

Among other law enforcement and emergency respondents was Towns County fire and rescue and EMS Captain Terry Parker.

Although Ware was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Parker said that, “It appeared as if she was going to be alright.”

Both Arteaga and Denning said that Young Harris College police happened to be on Duckworth Street when the incident occurred and responded immediately.

However, since the accident occurred on a state highway, the accident was ultimately turned over to the Georgia State Patrol.

It is not known at this time if charges will be filed against either party as a result of the incident.

Cathy Cox, president of YHC, was on scene consoling a student believed to be a relative of Ware’s. Cox announced to curious onlookers while leaving the scene that Ware never lost consciousness and was being transferred to a local hospital.

The College released an official statement about the incident saying, “At this time, it does not appear that any major injuries were sustained. The student was treated at the scene and transported to Chatuge Regional Hospital in Hiawassee for further examination. Young Harris College staff members remain with the student and are monitoring the student’s progress.”

The male driver of the truck wished to be anonymous and did not want to be interviewed.  He was visibly upset and mentioned he felt badly about the accident.

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