A familiar road becomes the scene of a collision that left a teen injured


WPSD Reporters

GRAVES COUNTY, Ky.— A 16-year-old girl hit by two cars is listed in stable condition tonight at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. It happened just before eight o'clock Sunday night off of Kentucky 131 in Symsonia. Neighbors confirm she suffered from cerebral palsy prior to the accident and may have had vision problems.

People who live off 131 say the teen walked up and down the road regularly. They say she usually stuck to the inside of the shoulder, marked by a white stripe on the road. The state is in the middle of a re-paving project, and the stripe that acted as her guide hasn't been laid down yet. That, plus the medical issues she already had along with a very dark night came together to create a disaster.

The scene of the collision sits right in between Symsonia Elementary School and Richard Vieitez Jr.'s front yard. He said, "I was coming out right as it happened, and the first thing I saw was people stopping. I heard a girl screaming." He described it as a chilling sound coming from a girl hit by two cars off of a road Vieitez has seen her walk down many times before. "She would walk pretty close to the road, right off the shoulder. I've heard plenty of people say, and I've thought it before myself, you know, one of these days, if that girl don't step away from the road a bit, she's gonna get hit by a car."

It's a scenario that played out Sunday night, but one Kentucky State Police Trooper Jay Thomas said didn't have to. "The pedestrian wrecks that we're seeing in our area... the pedestrians aren't being as safe as they could be." He said pedestrians and drivers need to look out for each other. That's a lesson now hitting a lot closer to home for Vieitez. "That right there emphasizes the need for me to teach my kids do not go near the road."

Trooper Thomas said wearing reflective clothing, being aware of your surroundings, and walking toward traffic can help keep pedestrians safe, especially if they're walking at night.

KSP has not filed any charges in this case yet, but Trooper says the investigation is not complete. Graves County Schools would not confirm whether the girl was a student at the high school.