UPDATE: Whitfield deputy taken to hospital after being hit by pickup truck
UPDATE: A Whitfield County Sheriff's Deputy was hit by a car outside of Westside Middle School Tuesday morning. Deputy Michael Dial was taken to Erlanger for treatment for minor injuries.
Sheriff Scott Chitwood tells Channel 3 other than a broken leg, he's doing well. Now, school officials and the Whitfield Sheriff's Office are calling on people to drive carefully.
Dial was directing traffic outside of Westside Middle, where he's a school resource officer, when he was hit. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating.
Patrol officials say Dial stepped out into the road to direct traffic. The driver thought Dial was motioning him to keep going and didn't stop.
"I think it's a problem everywhere. I guess I struggle why people have trouble,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “Most people drive the same route every morning or afternoon so they know where the school zones are."
Whitfield Schools Assistant Superintendent Mike Ewton says it's an important reminder to drivers.
"Drive cautiously. Especially in school zones and around school buses,” Ewton said. “Those are the two things that every single day people could impact."
He says it’s particularly important in areas like Westside where traffic is heavy and there aren't sidewalks.
"There are no sidewalks here,” Ewton said. “Students don't generally walk in front here. But it could have easily been a civilian’s car just like it was our SRO.”
And as for that SRO, Deputy Dial, Chitwood says he'll hopefully be back on the job soon.
"Nothing will be missed, other than he himself will be missed,” Chitwood said. “But yeah we'll fill in the blanks and everything will keep moving."
PREVIOUS STORY: A driver traveling north on Georgia State Route 201 struck a Whitfield County deputy Tuesday morning in a school zone at Westside Middle School.
The deputy has been identified as Dep. Michael Dial, who has been with the department since 2005. This is his first year as a School Resource Officer.
Channel 3 has learned that the Dial stepped into the road when traffic backed up. The driver thought Dial was motioning him to come through, but witnesses tell the Georgia State Patrol that deputy had his hand up in a stop gesture.
Dial, who was wearing a safety vest, was taken to the hospital afterward with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the red Ford Ranger received a citation to appear in court.
PREVIOUS STORY: Westside Middle School Principal Dr. Angela Hargis tells Channel 3 that a Whitfield County deputy was struck by a vehicle Tuesday morning while directing traffic.
The deputy also serves as the School Resource Officer.
Additional Whitfield County Sheriff's Office deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers arrived quickly at the scene.
The driver was making their way through the school zone when the incident happened.
The deputy was transported to a local hospital for examination and treatment.
This is a developing story and will be updated.