Two Bate Middle School students were injured Tuesday when they were struck by an SUV driven by a Danville High School student as they walked home from school.
Eli Gooch and Ben Harper, both sixth-graders, were first taken to Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville and then transported to the pediatric unit of the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Their conditions were not available this morning.
Danville Police Chief Tony Gray said Eli appeared to have suffered injuries to his back or pelvic area, while Ben appeared to have injured an arm.
The accident was reported about 3:25 p.m. on South Alta Avenue near the intersection with East Main Street.
Witnesses and the driver, Blake Napier, told police that Napier was traveling south on Alta and had come to a complete stop on the north side of Main Street. As he proceeded through the intersection, Napier’s 1993 Ford Explorer began to fishtail on the wet pavement, and “he was unable to regain control of or stop the vehicle,” police said.
The SUV traveled over a curb and into the yard at the southwest corner on the intersection, where Eli and Ben were walking about eight feet off the street. Ben received a glancing blow from the vehicle, which then struck Eli directly, knocking him to the ground. Eli came to rest just in front of the Explorer’s front tires, police said.
The vehicle struck the corner of the home and knocked over a privacy fence before coming to a stop.
Homeowner Harold Harmon said kids often walk through his yard on the way home from school because there is no sidewalk along Alta Avenue.
Napier was not injured. No charges were filed.
“The slick road was definitely a factor,” Capt. James Monroe said at the scene.