Strangers bring flowers for Whiteland girl, 9, seriously injured after hit by car

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WHITELAND, Ind.—A Whiteland Elementary School student is recovering from serious injuries after she was hit by a car Wednesday morning.

Around 8:30 a.m., the 9-year-old girl was sitting on her driveway, reading a book while she waited for her school bus. Her mother was watching her from a window inside the home. Then, a car turned left from County Road East 500 North into their driveway, running over the girl. The driver of the car told investigators he did not see her.

According to a crash report, he told investigators he “felt something underneath his vehicle”. He said he looked and noticed a person behind him on the driveway. The victim’s mother, Beth Schoenberg, told authorities what she saw too.

“Beth stated that Emily was sitting down on the driveway reading a book when she noticed a black car with its turn signal on and turn into the driveway,” the crash report read. “The black car then struck Emily with the driver’s side and ran over Emily with both tires. Beth said she frantically ran outside to stop the driver and she rushed to her daughter’s aid. Beth screamed to the driver to call 911.”

Staff Sgt. Leah Fowler, who is stationed at Camp Atterbury, happened to be in the area, shortly after the little girl was hit.

“I just saw her mom over the top of her, but I just saw the little girl, you know, laying on the pavement in her driveway. She wasn’t moving,” Staff Sgt. Fowler said.

At that point, emergency crews were directing traffic. Fowler said she saw a large amount of crews respond, as she drove away from the area. She said she stopped on the side of the road to compose herself. She contacted a friend and together, during lunch, they bought the family flowers.

“I just hope it does bring (the family) comfort,” Staff Sgt. Fowler said.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Rivers went with Staff Sgt. Fowler back to the area where the accident happened.

“At lunchtime we kinda felt compelled to bring flowers (and) give our thoughts and prayers to the family of the little girl,” Staff Sgt. Rivers said.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident. They said the driver of the car is a repairman who was test driving a car his shop fixed. Fox59 spoke to the driver’s father early Wednesday. At the time we called, he said he was trying to piece together what happened too and did not want to comment.

The girl is listed in good condition and the case remains under investigation.

The Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation issued the following statement:

“This morning, there was an accident involving a Whiteland Elementary School student waiting for a school bus in her driveway. She was hit by a passenger vehicle not associated with Clark Pleasant Schools.

“The student was taken to the hospital where school superintendent Dr. Patrick Spray and Whiteland Elementary School Principal Cirsten Lewis met with the family to offer any assistance and support that Clark Pleasant Schools can provide. Parents have reported the student is doing well. The thoughts and prayers of our school community are with the student and her family.”