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Unicoi Co. boy hit at school bus stop released from hospital, gets dream ride home

Austin Smith arrived at Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City last week in the back of an ambulance, but he got to leave the hospital Tuesday riding high in a shiny red fire engine. Austin Smith arrived at Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City last week in the back of an ambulance, but he got to leave the hospital Tuesday riding high in a shiny red fire engine.
Five days after the incident, Austin made it clear he wanted to go home in a fire engine.  A call to the Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department was all it took to make the request a reality. Five days after the incident, Austin made it clear he wanted to go home in a fire engine. A call to the Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department was all it took to make the request a reality.
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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) - Austin Smith arrived at Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City last week in the back of an ambulance, but he got to leave the hospital Tuesday riding high in a shiny red fire engine.

Smith, 6, was seriously hurt last Thursday when a car failed to stop for a school bus and hit him as well as his grandmother, investigators said.

Smith's grandmother, Katherine Bryant, saw the car wasn't stopping and jumped in front of Austin to shield him from the blow.

Smith later was released from the hospital.

Five days after the incident, Austin made it clear he wanted to go home in a fire engine.  A call to the Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department was all it took to make the request a reality.

And one of the firefighters was especially happy to help.    Assistant Chief Danny Bryant was a responder on the scene helping Austin and his grandmother in the moments after they were hurt.

"I'm really glad because I knew he was hurt pretty bad," Bryant said.  "I'm glad to see him.  He's come to himself enough he wanted to ride home in a fire truck so we said we'd give him one."

Kris Ann Waterhouse of Bakersville, North Carolina was the driver of the car that hit Austin and Katherine, investigators said.   She was arrested and charged her with 2 counts of reckless aggravated assault and passing a stopped school bus.  

Here's a previous report on what happened.

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