RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina teenager who was struck by a car this week while departing a school bus in Halifax County is now in good condition, a hospital spokesperson said Friday.
Tillman Mitchell, a 17-year-old student at the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School in Hollister, had just exited the school bus and was walking across the street to his house when he was hit by a 2022 Tesla Model Y, according to the State Highway Patrol.
He was flown to WakeMed with life-threatening injuries Wednesday afternoon and was listed in good condition Friday morning, said hospital spokesperson Kristin Kelly.
The driver, identified as Dr. Howard Gene Yee, a 51-year-old dentist in Roanoke Rapids, failed to stop for the stopped school bus, which highway patrol said was displaying all of its activated warning devices.
First Sgt. Christopher Knox of the State Highway Patrol said the initial assessment indicated it was a case of distracted driving. Investigators are looking into whether the Tesla was in autopilot mode at the time of the crash, he said.
Yee was placed in the Halifax County Jail under a $25,000 secured bond and charged with reckless driving and “passing stop school bus striking a person,” according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Yee’s dental office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.