STATESVILLE, N.C. - A Statesville police officer has been placed on administrative duty after authorities said she struck a 4-year-old child with her patrol car.
The collision happened Thursday night at the intersection of East Broad Street and Center Street.
According to the Statesville Police Department, Officer A.E. Kestler was heading to a suspicious activity call around 8:30 p.m. Officers said she pulled up to the intersection and started to turn from Broad Street onto Center Street when her cruiser hit the child, who was in a crosswalk.
The boy's mother told Channel 9 she was walking with her son when he was hit, and they didn't enter the crosswalk until getting the green hand signal.
She said after being knocked to the ground, her son stood up covered in scrapes and bruises.
Witness Joshua Doyle said he works down the street and could see police and firefighters rushing to help the boy.
"It's awful. I feel bad for both parties because it's clearly an accident it's not with any malice," Doyle said.
The police report states that a contributing factor to the crash was Kestler's failure to yield to the right-of-way.
Officials also said she didn't have her blue lights or her body camera on because of the nature of the call she was responding to at the time of the crash.
Paula Foy lives across the street from the victim and has five children of her own.
She believes police need to be extra careful when responding to any call.
"You going somewhere to save a life but at the same token you can end up taking a life by not being careful," Foy said.
Kestler has been placed on administrative duty with pay during the investigation.
The police chief told Channel 9's Dave Faherty the officer is taking the accident to heart.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the collision and will forward their findings to the district attorney to decide whether charges will be filed.
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