Two people had to be flown out by emergency medical helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center after being hit by a pick-up truck near the entrance to the Williamsburg Walmart Thursday afternoon.
Williamsburg Fire Chief Larry Todd said the accident happened about 2:36 p.m. when a jacked up white Ford F-250 truck struck two pedestrians in front of the general merchandise side of Walmart.
When police arrived at the scene, they determined that 67-year-old Melanie Bennett, and a four-year-old male juvenile had been struck by a white 1997 pick-up truck in the parking lot of Walmart, which was being driven by Doug Hunter of Williamsburg, according to a Williamsburg Police Department release.
Bennett is the grandmother of the four-year-old, authorities said.
Todd said that he initially feared extrication might be required, but when he arrived at the scene the woman was laying next to the tire, and the four-year-old was laying on the ground.
Whitley County EMS transported both to the Kentucky Splash waterpark where the fire department set up an emergency-landing zone.
Two PHI Air Medical emergency medical helicopters landed and flew out the pair to Knoxville.
Todd said that both are believed to have suffered serious injuries.
It appeared the woman had left side injuries, possible fractures, and was in quite a bit of pain. The boy had abrasions, bruising and some blood coming out of his nose.
The boy’s mother, Kennedy, told WKYT Friday that it could’ve been much worse if Bennett hadn’t covered her son, Keaton, the best she could before the collision, risking her own life to shield him from the impact.
Officer Steven Hill is conducting the accident investigation, which is still ongoing. Deputy Chief Jason Caddell, Officer Greg Rhoades, Officer Johnny Fulton, Officer Dorman Patrick Jr., and members of the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department and Kentucky State Police assisted him at the scene.
“It is Christmas season. Be real careful out there folks,” Todd added.