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Case against driver accused of hitting student reset

The case involving the woman accused of hitting a Unicoi County student boarding a school bus in March has been reset until next year.
According to court officials, Kris Ann Waterhouse, Bakersville, N.C., was scheduled to appear before Sessions Court Judge David Shults for a hearing on Thursday, Dec. 11, but the case was reset for Jan. 29 in Unicoi County Sessions Court.
Waterhouse was charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault and passing a stopped school bus as a result of an incident on March 6, near 5228 Unicoi Drive.
The Erwin Record previously reported that, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), the bus involved in the incident had stopped in the southbound lane of Unicoi Drive around 6:30 a.m. on March 6. The driver had reportedly activated the flashing amber and red lights of the bus, as well as extended the vehicle’s stop sign to alert traffic that children were boarding the bus.
Waterhouse was traveling northbound on Unicoi Drive and, according to the THP, did not stop for children to be loaded onto the bus. Waterhouse “attempted to now pass the school bus at 5228 Unicoi Drive where Austin Smith, a six-year-old Unicoi Elementary School student, was walking across the northbound lane of Unicoi Drive and was walking to board the school bus,” the THP report said.
At this time, Smith’s grandmother, Katherine Bryant, saw the vehicle ignore the stop sign and ran out into the northbound lane and tried to protect Smith from being struck by the vehicle.
“This was a grandmother attempting to protect her grandchild,” the THP stated.
Waterhouse is being represented by a public defender.