Student recognized for clear thinking, quick action

Friday, December 15, 2017
Kristin Wright with her award recognizing her “calming presence” after an accident on Nov. 16 sent a 6-year-old student to the hospital after being struck by a tractor trailer.
Photo submitted

The Marshall County Board of Education recognized a 17-year-old high school student at their Monday meeting for her compassion and quick thinking after an accident on Nov. 16.

That foggy Thursday morning, a 6-year-old student was struck by a tractor trailer off of Fayetteville Highway as she waited for the bus.

Kristin N. Wright, daughter of Kevin and Shelly Wright, successfully comforted children as they witnessed the accident.

“We were very fortunate to have Miss Kristin Wright on the bus,” said Director of Schools Jacob Sorrells.

A video went viral as it showed the caring high schooler walking up and down the aisles calming the kids as they panicked after the upsetting incident.

“She has always been a gentle soul,” Shelly Wright said. Her mother explained that her daughter has always cared about others ever since she was little.

“I am very proud of her. It didn’t surprise me one bit when I heard that my daughter was trying to help others,” she said.

To Kristin, it was just like any other day. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. She woke up, got ready for school, and boarded the bus like normal.

“It all happened in slow motion, but we saw everything,” she said.

According to her, the bus driver was frantic and yelling when the trucker drove by, which made the kids panic even more.

“He didn’t even try to stop until it was too late,” she said as she described the accident.

She knew she had to do something because kids were crying and screaming. She strolled the bus aisles in hopes of easing the terrified children. After a few minutes of her ensuring and consoling words, the kids finally calmed down.

“Something just told me that I needed to help,” Wright said.

At the meeting, Sorrells stated that the student was being recognized for her “leadership and mature behavior” after congratulating her for being the mediator of a devastating situation.

“Not a lot people would have done it,” said Sorrells.

“I didn’t want to be praised for this. I knew that no one else was going to do it. I just wanted to help,” said Wright, after accepting the award.

The little girl that was struck by the truck is now back at Oak Grove Elementary School.

Initially, the Tennessee Highway Patrol indicated that they would file charges against the driver, from Indiana, but later investigation showed no basis and charges were withdrawn.