KINGSPORT — A Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority maintenance worker is on leave pending an investigation into a Tuesday afternoon vehicle accident that killed a 4-year-old child.
According to the Kingsport Police Department, Jamarion H. Carpenter suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a truck while riding a bicycle in the courtyard of Lee Apartments.
Jamarion lived in Apartment 71 with his mother, KHRA officials said.
Police identified the driver of the 2008 Ford F350 as KHRA maintenance worker John H. Marshall, 48, of Kingsport.
Terry Cunningham, executive director of the KHRA, said Marshall, a 17-year employee of the authority, has been placed on leave pending an investigation into the incident.
“We’re deeply saddened over the passing of Jamarion Carpenter, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Cunningham said, noting this was the first time such an incident had occurred at Lee Apartments. “It’s a terrible accident, and I can’t say enough about how concerned we are for the family.”
Cunningham said the KHRA contacted Holston Counseling representatives who were at Lee Apartments on Wednesday to provide services to anyone who is in need of counseling over the incident.
The KHRA is waiting for Kingsport police to issue a report on the incident before seeing what action should be taken. Cunningham said he has asked all KHRA employees to be careful in the operation of their vehicles.
“Not knowing exactly what occurred, we’re not sure what to react to, and that’s going to be part of our investigation and follow-up,” Cunningham said. “We’re not sure what happened, so it’s difficult to say what to do.”
Kingsport police said Marshall was driving through the grounds about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday after dropping off some boxes in storage when the incident occurred. The incident took place in a courtyard area of the complex, where residents congregate, children play and ride their bikes, and people walk.
Cunningham said sometimes it is necessary for KHRA employees to drive their vehicles up on the sidewalk or in the courtyard area in the course of doing various maintenance activities.
“That will be something we’ll be looking into — what was the reason for him being where he was at,” he said. “The incident is under investigation, and we’re still gathering information, and we’re just not in a position to comment on very much until we have the information.”