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Two Fisher-Titus employees hit by car on hospital crosswalk

By COURTNEY BROWN • Updated Jul 13, 2017 at 2:14 AM

Two Fisher-Titus employees were heading into work Monday morning expecting to help emergency victims themselves — but they ended up becoming the ones needing medical attention after they were struck by an out-of-state driver. 

On Benedict Avenue, just by Shady Lane Drive and right across from Fisher-Titus, Virginia driver Donna Barton struck Amber Tackett, 31, of Bellevue, and Laura Howser, 47, of Huron, about 8 a.m. They had been walking in the crosswalk to get to work.

“They were in a great deal of pain,” Norwalk Police Capt. Mike Conney said, adding they were conscious at the scene.

Heavy rain, along with the fact Barton was probably unfamiliar with the area, were the two most probable factors as to why she hit them, Conney said.

“She didn’t see them. By the time she saw them it was too late,” he said.

Johnna Young, Fisher-Titus’ public relations specialist, gave a statement about the incident and well-being of the hospital’s two employees.

“First responders and police were on the scene within minutes,” the hospital’s statement said. “Tackett was treated and discharged from Fisher-Titus Monday afternoon. ... Howser was treated then transferred for further evaluation and treatment.”

Conney mentioned the crosswalk has “had issues” before, and having employees walk in the crosswalk to get to work has been a concern.

The hospital has already built another parking lot for employees in spring, and plans were in place to get employees to use the new lot instead of the Annex parking lot this summer, according to the statement.

“This accident hits particularly close to home in our tight knit family of caregivers who are used to providing care for others we serve,” FTMC president Lorna Strayer said in the statement. “Safety is always our first concern.”

Barton was charged for failing to yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk, but the investigation is still ongoing. Norwalk Police spent about 40 minutes at the scene and an additional hour investigating, Conney said. The investigation will not be officially closed until they have the chance to speak with the two victims.

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