published Friday, April 11th, 2014

Teen hit by car on I-24 in Smyrna while changing tire dies

SMYRNA, Tenn. — A 13-year-old boy who was trying to change a flat tire alongside Interstate 24 in Smyrna has died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Miller says Clifton Braunwalder of Lascassas died and his mother, Sondra Braunwalder, was injured and taken to a local hospital.

Miller told media that the boy and his mother were beside their car when another vehicle hit both of them and then drove away from the scene.

"The victim was over into the emergency lane, had its hazard lights on," Miller said. "They did everything they could to be safe."

Police said a witness to the accident followed the other vehicle to a business in Davidson County and called officers, who charged 33-year-old Tina L. Wilson with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

"Thank God they did that," Miller said. "So many times, if no witness comes forward, it makes it more difficult to find the responsible party."

It wasn't immediately clear whether Wilson has an attorney.

Police said she apparently lost control of her vehicle while changing lanes.

"Once the Critical Incident Team is finished, the findings will be presented to the Rutherford County District Attorney to see if any charges will be added," Miller said.

Miller said the boy was on his knees changing the tire when he was hit. The mother was in front of the car watching. The boy's 12-year-old sister was also at the scene, but wasn't hit.

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