HICKORY, N.C. — Hickory High School principal Rebecca Tuttle has been charged with DWI after an arrest last week on Second Street Southeast.
Tuttle got into a wreck Friday night, the school district said. There were no passengers in her car.
Channel 9 learned Tuttle crashed into the back of a parked minivan on Second Street SE. She then started to back up and hit a pedestrian, police said.
The report said Tuttle’s car then ran off the road and backed down a hill and over Eighth Avenue Drive SE before colliding with a building.
The damages from the accident are in the thousands of dollars.
According to police, Tuttle told officers she hit the building after hydroplaning.
Homeowner Anita Sherrill said she woke to the crash outside her home and watched as police gave Tuttle a field sobriety test.
The police report states Tuttle’s blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
“To be a principal out at night that late drinking and driving that’s just sad. It’s sad for the community,” Sherrill said. It’s sad for parents who are trying to teach their children the right way and it’s really really sad for the school system.”
The school district said Tuttle has since been suspended.
“When you’re a school official you have to set a good example for the children because they do what they see,” mother Jessica Page said.
Some parents said the principal should be fired, but others believe she should get another chance.
Cindy Shelor said Tuttle helped her son who has special needs transition into the high school.
“I know she does the phone calls every night for us and they’re so positive and how she talks about her students and I know she use to be a special ed teacher and she has a lot of compassion for all of the kids,” Shelor said.
The school district sent out an email explaining to parents its plans on moving forward after suspending Tuttle, but there is no timeline on how long her suspension will last or whether it’s paid or unpaid.
Tuttle is expected to appear in court Monday.
Hickory Schools Statement: “We are aware that an administrative employee was involved in an automobile accident this past Friday night, Jan. 3, 2020, after which criminal charges were filed. (No other passengers were in the automobile at the time of the accident).
“Upon receiving information regarding this concern, HPS acted in accordance with district policy. This matter will not affect the students’ school day or the school’s standard operation. As a small school district, we are asking that everyone continue to work together”
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