NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A 15-year-old student was struck by a vehicle Wednesday morning near Gulf High School.
- Jeffrey Thomas, 15, struck at intersection of School Road, Madison Street
- Driver of van that struck student is a teacher at school
- Port Richey Police: Speed did not appear to be factor
According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, the boy, identified as Jeffery Thomas, was struck by a van in the intersection of School Road and Madison Street in New Port Richey.
Authorities said Thomas was unresponsive after being struck by a vehicle while on the way to school. He was airlifted from the scene to an area hospital.
Pasco Schools Superintendent Linda Cobbe said the driver of the van is a teacher at the school and coach of the boys soccer team.
The teacher's 7-year-old child also was in the van. The teacher, who told authorities it was dark and he did not see Thomas, was quite upset after the crash, officials said.
Gulf High junior Zachary Scott confirmed some of the difficulties the intersection presents to drivers in the morning.
"“Sometimes it is hard to see," he said. "There’s not that many street lights on this road, and during morning time, this is a pretty busy road.”
Officials did not say what led to the crash but New Port Richey Police Chief Kim Bogart said speed does not appear to be a factor but Thomas's headphones were found at the scene of the crash.
Cobbe added that friends of Thomas, a freshman, were distraught and came to seek counseling. One student left school for the day.
He's just a loving, caring kid that would do anything for anybody," said student Vincent Bavero.
Thomas underwent surgery and remains in critical condition.
This is a developing story and more information will be provided as it becomes available.