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2 SSMS employees hurt when teacher backs into them

Two South Stanly Middle School employees were critically injured Thursday morning when a teacher’s car slammed into them at a loading dock.

Teacher Jerry Stevens, 54, and custodian Tammy Lynn Smith, 52, both of Norwood, were struck as they were assisting a teacher with unloading a bookshelf from her car, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Stevens and Smith were airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Both suffered leg injuries that will require surgery. Stevens also suffered a head injury, said trooper G.W. Beaman.

Stanly County Schools released a statement about the conditions of the employees.

“There are no life threatening injuries but both employees have been transported to Charlotte hospitals,” the statement read.

Around 8:20 a.m. teacher Linscott Weiker, 52, of Albemarle, was backing her 2017 Toyota up to a loading dock at the school when the car reportedly accelerated while in reverse. She then struck a guardrail and where the two victims were waiting,” Beaman said.

“She said the accelerator hung up when she was backing up,” the trooper added.

The vehicle has been taken to a Toyota dealership for additional testing, Beaman said.

Weiker was charged with unsafe movement in the incident.

Another SSMS teacher, Mark Swaringen, of Norwood, witnessed the incident.

Teachers returned to school this week in preparation of the new 2018-19 school year.

SCS expressed its appreciation with the quick aid to the victims.

“We greatly appreciate the first responders, staff members, and emergency personnel for their immediate response and care given to all involved. We ask that you please keep SSMS staff in your thoughts during this time,” the statement read.

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or ritchie.starnes@stanlynewspress.com.