Teen recovering after hit-and-run in the Smokies

National Park Service looking for suspect

Brenylnn (Family)

TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WATE) – A 13-year-old girl is recovering at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital after she was hit by a motorcycle at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Park spokesperson Dana Soehn says the accident happened around 8:15 p.m. Saturday on Little River Road between the Townsend Wye and the Sinks. According to reports, the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash.

Tanika Maples said her daughter, Brenylnn, had just finished swimming and was standing by a parked car when she was hit. She said the driver asked if everyone was okay and then jumped on another motorcycle and took off leaving his motorcycle and helmet behind. The park service released a photo of the two drivers.

The National Park Service Investigative Services Branch has identified the suspects. However, the names have not been released.

(Photo: NPS)

Maples said the driver left her daughter laying on the street in serious pain with her legs broken. She was eventually taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center by Life/Star helicopter, but because there isn’t reliable cell service in the park, she said it took 30 minutes just to get help.

“These have been the worst days of my life. Never thought it would ever happen to me or my kid,” said Maples. “To see my child go through that much pain and endure that much pain, or to say “Mommy, my legs are in the shape of a ‘U,’ is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.”

Maples said her daughter underwent multiple surgeries in the past couple days. She said her daughter had two broken femurs, among other injuries.

“I’m grateful that she’s alive,” Maples said. I’m grateful that she can sit up in the bed and talk to me. It could be months to years before she’s out of a wheelchair. I’ll push her everyday if I have to. We have a very long road ahead of us.”

Brenylnn was transferred to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital where she is still recovering. Maples says her daughter is a fighter and they will get through the injury together.

The park service is asking anyone with information or saw two motorcycles traveling from Gatlinburg to Townsend on Little River Rd. between 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, contact the National Park Service at 888-653-0009 or submit a tip online. Tips can also be emailed to nps_isb@nps.gov or submitted through a Facebook or Twitter message. If you have photos or video of the scene, please contact NPS.



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