Rec center employee speaks about saving girl

10:36 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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A City of Knoxville employee who jumped in front of a moving car to save a little girl says his paternal instincts kicked in.

The city honored Elijah Clark Monday evening. He works at the Cal Johnson Recreation Center.

On Friday, Clark was helping children cross Hall of Fame Drive when he saw a car headed toward them. Six-year-old Choleigh Harris was in the middle of the crosswalk. Clark ran to the girl, picked her up and tossed her onto a side bank, then the vehicle hit him.

"I thought fast and just grabbed the little girl and threw her to the side and the car hit me on my left side right here in the middle of the crosswalk. My main thing was making sure the little girl was safe; I didn't want anything to happen to her. I have a daughter myself that is 10 and I would want somebody else to do the same for my daughter if she was in the same situation, so it was just kind of instinctual," said Clark.

Choleigh and her mom visited Clark in the hospital before his release. They brought him a flower and personally thanked him.

Clark has worked for the city for about a year-and-a-half.

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