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Accidents may bring changes

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Feb 19 2014 04:01:20 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 08:52:46 PM CST

In a period of eight days, two students are recovering after being hit by cars outside of Dobyns-Bennett High School. Both students are expected to be okay, but now changes could be coming to prevent more crashes.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

Two students, both 14 years old, were hit by cars in two separate incidents along East Center Street in the back of Dobyns-Bennett High School recently.

Now the school is looking to see what changes need to be made. "We certainly have gotten the ball rolling on investigating what our current practices are, and coming up with solutions to prevent these accidents from occurring in the future," says Dobyns-Bennett principal Chris Hampton.

School leaders are teaming up with the Kingsport Police officers who investigated both crashes. According to police, both students were at fault. "They are both the result of students crossing the road unlawfully," says Public Information Officer Tom Patton.

According to police, one student crossed with a no walking sign; the other was not crossing at a designated crosswalk. "When a 4,000 pound vehicle is traveling at 20 or 30 miles per hour, it can't stop on a dime. These students and other pedestrians need to be aware that they need to look both ways before they cross the street, and cross at the appropriate locations at the appropriate time," adds Patton.

Hampton says educating students and the community about safety will be first. "We'll be looking at some physical barriers that will encourage students to cross the streets at crosswalks," he said.

City leaders and police officers want to find out more about the traffic patterns near the school and what can be done to make improvements.

We're told both students were injured in the incidents, but both are expected to recover.

One student is enrolled at Dobyns-Bennett; the other is a student at John Sevier Middle School and apparently took the bus to Dobyns-Bennett to walk home.