Accident brings family closer to community

By Abby Morris

   It all began as a parent's worst nightmare for Kim and Eddie Shallcross when their 11-year-old daughter Madison was hit by a car as she walked home from school one afternoon about two weeks ago.
   Madison and her brother Dylan, 13, were walking to their home on Daytona Place from T.A. Dugger Junior High School. As they crossed West G Street where it intersects with Holly Street, the unimaginable happened.
   "Dylan said he heard the tires squeal and he turned around and saw Madison on the hood of the car," Kim said.
   According to police reports, the car was traveling at approximately 30 miles per hour.
   "We were just lucky that this man was going slow," Kim said.
   Eddie agreed and added, "And that it was a small car and not a truck. There were any number of things on her side."
   Dylan knew just what to do and he called his father right after the accident.
   "He kept his head and didn't go crazy," Eddie said. "He handled it very well. He grabbed someone's cell phone and called me on my work cell phone."
   Lisa Bare, a friend of Kim's who happened to be driving by and saw Madison on the side of the road, called Kim at work and told her what had happened.
   EMS and EPD arrived shortly after the accident. "They were right on top of it," Kim said.
   Madison was taken to Sycamore Shoals Hospital and then later transported to Johnson City Medical Center.
   "The police and EMTs kept coming in and checking on her while we were in the ER," Kim said. "They didn't just drop her off and leave."
   Madison suffered a fractured nose, abrasions on her face and lost her two front teeth. "We just kept saying 'Thank you, Jesus,'" Kim said. "It could have been so much worse than it was."
   When the family arrived back home that evening, they were surprised at all of the support that people of the community offered them.
   People were sending flowers, food, cards and stuffed animals for Madison and the family, who are originally from southern Florida and have only lived in Elizabethton for about three and a half years.
   "The phone rang non-stop," Eddie said. "People we don't even know called concerning her."
   Kim added that the show of support touched them. "It was wonderful to see, especially with us not having any family here, the genuine concern," she said. "I've just never seen people react the way this community reacted.
   "It was far beyond anything we ever expected."
   Members of Kim and Eddie's families in Florida came up after the accident and they, too, were amazed at the community reaction, according to Kim.
   "I was glad that they were here to see this," Kim said. "They are always asking 'when are you coming home,' and when they saw the reaction they said, 'now I know why you moved here.'"
   Madison was also touched by the way people were concerned about her.
   She said at first she was embarrassed at having lost her teeth and that she didn't want to go back to school, but some of her friends and classmates came by to see her and helped her get over her fears.
   "They were really sweet," Madison said. "They didn't care what I looked like."
   Kim and Eddie were impressed with the way the other children handled what had happened to Madison. "The children were very supportive of her and kept telling her that she was still pretty and not to be embarrassed," Eddie said.
   Kim said the way the community responded to the accident helped to reaffirm their choice to move the family to Elizabethton from southern Florida.
   "The community has been wonderful," Eddie said.
   Kim agreed, adding "It's a great community to raise children in."