FORT SMITH (KFSM) — It was not an ordinary day for Southside High School senior Thomas Northrup.
He woke up, got dressed and headed to school like every grinding weekday, but Friday, Jan. 24, changed his life.
While Northrup approached the intersection of Gary Street and Old Greenwood Road, so did a truck driven by 35-year-old Adam Shaffer. With the blink of an eye, Northrup’s skull, nasal cavity and jaw broke while blood poured everywhere. Northrup had been run over.
Police questioned witnesses and Shaffer as Northrup was strapped onto a gurney and loaded into an ambulance bound toward Mercy Hospital.
Meanwhile, his mother Jackye waited for her son to text message her to let her know he arrived at school. She never got that message, but instead, a phone call from the school principal informing her about her son.
All while, Shaffer was detained and escorted by police for questioning. Police said Shaffer told them he was driving distracted and high on Valium, and two days later, he appeared in court, accused of second-degree battery.
Northrup ended up being taken by an emergency helicopter to a hospital in Little Rock, and while he laid in a hospital bed healing, people prayed for a miracle.
Their prayers were answered.
Hand-in-hand with his mother, Northrup walked into a school assembly Thursday (Feb. 22) and surprised his peers. Students, faculty and staff cheered and stood in honor.