Driver Arrested, Accused Of Hitting Southside Student On Crosswalk

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A student from Southside High School was reportedly hit by a truck at the intersection of Gary St. and Old Greenwood Rd. in Fort Smith on Wednesday morning (Jan. 24).  The intersection is just a few blocks away from the school.

Police told 5NEWS that the student was taken by medical helicopter from Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith to a hospital in Little Rock for additional treatment.

Adam Shaffer

Adam Shaffer, 35, will face charges of second-degree battery, according to Lt. Wes Milam. Shaffer is suspected of driving under the influence, Milam said. He was officially charged Friday (Jan. 26), according to prosecuting attorney Daniel Shue.

Thomas Northrup

Fort Smith Police and EMS responded to the accident near the Southside campus around 7 a.m.

Shaffer ran a red light and hit the student at the intersection, according to police and an eyewitness.  The student was on the crosswalk when he was hit, police said.

According to probable cause affidavit, Shaffer admitted to taking Valium at 4 a.m.

A principal with the school confirmed that the injured person was a Southside student. Jackye Northrup told 5NEWS that her son Thomas was the injured student.

"He has multiple skull fractures and bleeding, he has a broken jaw and nasal cavity is broken. He isn't breathing on his own as of now," she said.

His sister, Loraine said she found out a pickup truck hit her brother while he was walking to school.

"I'm very hopeful that everything will be okay," Loraine said.

She said Thomas was in a bicycle accident this past summer, and was finally making his way to recovery.

"He had a little bit of head trauma, but he pulled through it," she said.

The family has setup a GoFundMe account, to help with medical expenses.