Third-grader hit by SUV returns to school

(Courier-Journal) - One of the three JCPS elementary school students struck by an SUV last week while they were waiting for their morning bus returned to class on Wednesday.

Phillip P. Neal III, 8, a third-grader at Engelhard Elementary, was back at school less than one week after he suffered a broken femur and other serious injuries in the Parkland neighborhood crash, according to photos posted on the school's official Twitter account.

The pictures show Neal wearing a University of Louisville hat and flashing a big smile with the hashtags "Hat Day," "We Are Family," and "Engelhard." He is accompanied in both photos by his teacher, who is referred to as Ms. Smith.

Last Thursday, Neal and some other students were preparing to board school bus No. 1141 when a Cadillac Escalade swerved around the stopped bus, flipping in the air and hitting Phillip and two other children.

Phillip was rushed to the hospital from the scene – his ambulance given a clear route as police blocked off side roads to allow the three injured children quick passage. He sustained a broken left femur, a bruised lung and pancreas, and a concussion in the crash.

His family said earlier this week that much of the swelling in his head has gone down. Doctors put a rod into his leg, which will have to stay eight months to a year. He is having to do physical therapy twice a week and is learning to use a walker and a wheelchair.

Neal's mother set up a Go Fund Me page to raise donations for Phillip and their family.

Click here to help Vanessa Johnson and Joc Johnson, who were also hit on by the SUV.

Allison Ross contributed to this report. Justin Sayers can be reached at 502-582-4252 or jsayers@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @_JustinSayers.


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