• High school coach hit by truck while out for run

    By: Wendy Corona

    Updated:

    HALL COUNTY, Ga. - A Chestatee High School’s cross country coach is at Grady Hospital awaiting facial surgery after getting hit by a truck.

    Stacey Merck, 38, was out on a run with students in Hall County early Sunday when it happened. 

    Georgia State Patrol’s report says Merck was running north of Sardis Road on Chestatee Road when the mirror of a 2011 Dodge Ram hit her in the face. GSP described the truck as sitting up high with its mirrors sticking far out.

    “I did hear that the truck stopped to make sure that she was OK,” student Samantha Stilwell said.

    Merck’s injuries were not life-threatening.  

    Stacey Merck, a cross country coach at Chestatee High School, was injured when a truck's mirror hit her while she was out on a run.
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    Stilwell said the accident was the talk on campus among teachers and students. Merck has a long history with the girls' track and cross country high school teams, as well as being a special education teacher.


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    Despite going along with the best practices of running against traffic, single file, off the road and without headphones on, the accident still happened. 

    It’s something that makes Stilwell, both a student and a driver, nervous for her classmates.

    “Even if you think that you're a safe driver, a lot of times it's other people that you have to watch out for because a lot of times, even when I'm driving, I see students running on the road and sometimes you have to swerve just to miss them. I think it's really dangerous," she said.

    In GSP’s report, the driver of the truck said Merck was in the road.

    Merck said she was on the shoulder outside of the white line on Chestatee Road. 

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