A 15-year-old freshman at Gulf High School is in critical condition after being hit by a van on his way to school Wednesday morning.
New Port Richey police say they got a call around 6:55 a.m. that a student had been hit. It doesn’t appear the teenager was crossing in a crosswalk.
The driver has been identified as a language arts teacher. He says it was dark and he simply did not see the student. He claims he was going the speed limit.
“He is very shook up. He’s not at school now. His wife is a counselor at the school. Their seven-year-old son was in the car. So they’re with him,” said Linda Cobbe, Pasco Schools spokeswoman.
The student was flown to Saint Joseph’s hospital in Tampa where he underwent emergency surgery. At last check, the student remains in critical condition.
“I can’t say for certain the investigators have not completed their investigation but at this point, it doesn’t appear speed was a factor. It appears that [the student] walked in front of the vehicle. We are not certain, there are headphones there and one earbud he still had on,” said Chief Kim Bogart with New Port Richey police.
Crisis counselors are on campus to help those students having a hard time dealing with the incident. Meanwhile, everyone at Gulf High is hoping for the best.
“We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that everything turns out okay,” said Cobbe,
Authorities have shut down the intersection and are asking drivers to avoid the area.