Students Remember Local Teenager Killed in Crash

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Lookout Valley community is mourning the loss of a local teenager tonight after an early morning crash.

We have chosen not to identify the woman driving the car that hit the teenager because she has not been charged with anything at this time.

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However, she did tell police she couldn’t see the boy until it was too late and tried to avoid hitting him by swerving her car and hitting the brakes.

Amy Katcher, the HCDOE Communications Coordinator stated, “If everyone could just keep this school, this community these students the staff here, in your heart and prayers over the next couple of days they’d really appreciate that.”

Lookout Valley Middle-High School is grieving after a fellow yellow jacket lost his life this morning.

Travis Johnson, a Lookout Valley Student says, “At school today, it was very emotional. Um, teachers, teachers couldn’t even teach us today because of how broke down they were.”

Just a mile away from school, 17-year-old J.T. Pruitt was on his bike trying to cross five lines on Browns Ferry Road, when he was hit by an oncoming car.

The teen was later quickly taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

“He was always happy, he was always–he always made my day and and and it’s always hard just to see a friend pass away *sniffles*”

Lookout Valley students shared tears, hugs and even a few smiles, as they sat down with News 12 this afternoon to share their favorite memories of Pruitt.

Gionna Walsh, another Lookout Valley Student says, “He was a really funny person, he was intelligent, he always had one of his big dreams and his big dream was for him to be a motorcycle person that would do like competitions.”

“He was a nice kid, and not all of us talked to him, or made him feel comfortable. So I felt really bad and guilty ’cause I didn’t go up to him and say, ‘How are you doing today?’ or anything,” said Johnson

Gabby Fields says, “He was a good person, he had a good personality and when someone tried to put him down he always, he always, he always like whatever.”

Officials say they don’t believe speed, alcohol or drugs played a part in this crash.