One adult was killed and eight children were injured Friday afternoon when a car drove out of control into the Sheffield School of the Dance in Mobile. Mobile Police spokesman Terence Perkins said it appeared the accident was caused by a “medical emergency,” but the exact circumstances are still under investigation.
Petithory was well known within Mobile’s arts community.
Updated on May 16 at 12:01 p.m. — Authorities have identified the driver as 48-year-old Michael Witherspoon, who — according to a preliminary investigation — suffered a medical emergency while driving west on Old Shell road.According to state records, Witherspoon has had his driver’s license revoked on more than one occasion and has faced several charges in the past for driving with a suspended license or without insurance. His most recent charge was in 2013.
It’s unclear if Witherspoon was licensed at the time of Friday’s accident, but so far, no charges have been filed.
Police say Witherspoon’s 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe left the roadway before striking a vehicle in the parking lot as well as the building. A total of nine people were transported by ambulance to local hospitals with “minor injuries” — including two children and one adult from inside the building.
There have been no updates on the status of the children’s injuries, but police say Witherspoon was discharged from the hospital May 15. Additional information from the pending investigation into the accident could be released at a press conference Mobile Police Chief James Barber has scheduled for 2:30 p.m., May 16.
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