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Youth struck by SUV
Northshore, The Cove accident scene

Knox County Sheriff’s deputies and Rural/Metro medical personnel were called to The Cove at Concord Park in response to a report that a child had been struck by a vehicle Saturday, April 29.

Jason W. Rees Jr., 10, was struck by a vehicle driven by Eric V. Johnson of a Candlewick Road address while allegedly chasing a baseball across Northshore Drive.

According to police, Johnson was traveling east on South Northshore Drive when he saw Rees standing on the south side of Northshore. Johnson told police he observed Rees look to the east to see if cars were coming but did not look west toward his vehicle and then stepped out into his path.

Johnson stated he tried to swerve to miss Rees, but struck the child with the right front portion of his SUV resulting in the youth being thrown to the north side of Northshore into a ditch.

Rees, who allegedly got up from the ditch saying he was OK, told police that he had crossed Northshore chasing a baseball and was returning to the baseball field when he was struck.

Rees was taken by Rural/Metro ambulance to Children’s Hospital where he was treated and released.

Jeff Gary, president of Farragut Baseball, Inc., confirmed the accident happened in front of Field 1.

“He was in the grassy area behind the bleachers, and he and some other boys were throwing, passing the time — he was attending the game of his younger brother … and a ball sailed past one of them and he went to retrieve it …,” said Gary, who also coaches the Willie Mays League Braves team in which Rees is a member [9-10-year-olds].

“On Sunday [April 30], we put up a what I guess you would call construction fence with posts every ten feet,” Gary said of three separate orange, “mesh” fences measuring four feet tall. “One from the corner of the parking lot, pretty much through, I guess you’d call it, to the first base dugout [between Field 1 and Northshore measuring about 100 feet long].”

Behind Field 3 between the outfield fence and Northshore runs similar fencing measuring roughly 120 feet.

Also, between Field 3 and Field 2, “we put a similar construction fence there on Sunday because a lot of kids throw in the area between the two fields,” Gary said of the roughly 20-foot fence.

Gary said he is considering taking the first steps attempting to get a reduced speed limit along that stretch of Northshore, which currently is 40 mph.

Alan Sloan contributed to this story.


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