A high school student Facetiming while crossing a street near Abington High School flew about 100 feet in the air after a driver accused of speeding struck her.
Kelly Williams, 14, was walking across the marked crosswalk on Highland Avenue in front of Abington Senior High School Aug. 23 around 2:45 p.m. when she was struck.
Witnesses initially told police Williams was distracted because she was using the popular iPhone video and audio chat feature FaceTime on her phone. Investigators later determined however that the girl was not at fault. Instead they accused the driver, James Clark IV, 32, of Abington, of driving 46 miles per hour in the 25-mile-per-hour school zone.
He has been charged with aggravated assault by vehicle, reckless endangerment and other related offenses.
“This crash involving a speeding car and a girl crossing a street within a marked crosswalk happened right outside of a high school as teenagers were coming and going to sports tryouts, cheerleading practice and other activities that signal the beginning of the school year,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said.
The unconscious teen was taken to Abington Hospital and later transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She suffered lacerations to her liver, kidney and spleen as well as fractures to her T3 vertebrae, pelvis and leg. She also suffered a dislocated shoulder, eye and eyelid injuries, a concussion and multiple abrasions.
“Distracted driving and speed are a deadly combination," Steele said. "Drivers owe it to the community and to our young people to exercise extra caution and pay special attention to their surroundings in and around our schools.”
Clark was arraigned and released on his own recognizance. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 11.
Williams' parents released a statement Monday.
“Our priority has been assisting our daughter in her recovery from the severe injuries she has suffered,” they wrote. “We appreciate the love, support and kindness we have received from our friends, family and members of the community.”