Four of six students, driver released from hospital after crash

Updated: 12/13/2013 9:35 PM
Created: 12/13/2013 9:48 AM WHEC.com

Six students, some with serious injuries, were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital after a one-vehicle crash Friday morning. It happened at the corner of Alexander Street and Broadway.

News10NBC has learned the name of the driver in that crash. Police say 24-year-old Mark A. Heeks lost control of his SUV and hit six students who were on the sidewalk heading into school just minutes before the start of school.

At the time of the accident, it was snowing and the roads were slick but officers say they are not sure that was the complete cause of the crash.

Investigators said all six students and Heeks were taken to Strong Hospital and three students had serious injuries. The remaining students and the driver suffered minor injuries. As of 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, four students had been released from Strong Memorial Hospital.

There is a red light camera at the intersection, however police say it does not cover the area where the students were hit. Police say that camera was put there due to the high number of previous accidents at the intersection.

Investigators say there are several witnesses including about 20 students who were outside at the time of the crash. The principal of School Without Walls said those students were extremely helpful within in minutes of the crash.

"Obviously it was a very traumatizing thing that happened," says Dr. Idonia Owens, Principal. "our students took care of each other. There were about 20 students on the scene, they came in to let us know what happened. We notified our nurse and our school counselor, the academy director and everyone sprung into action."

The principal said there were extra counselors on hands Friday for students who needed to talk. She also said the school followed its crisis response plan and quickly notified all of the student's parents about the crash.

Hospital officials say Heeks has been released from the hospital. Investigators say he is in police custody. They believe drugs and alcohol may have been a factor. Police say charges are expected sometime Friday evening.


Broken Clouds
55° | 25°
  • Feels like: 54° F
  • Wind: SSE 10mph
  • Humidity: 30%
  • Fri Considerable cloudiness
    60° | 36°
  • Sat Mix of sun and clouds
    51° | 39°
  • Sun Times of sun and clouds
    65° | 32°
  • Mon Cloudy
    69° | 39°