Teen Struck By Vehicle In Orlinda (Critical) LifeFlighted

Teen Struck By Vehicle In Orlinda (Critical) LifeFlighted


ORLINDA TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – A teenager is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle on Hwy 49 in Orlinda Saturday night.

The accident occurred just before 10 pm on Hwy 49 near Brewer Rd. just outside downtown Orlinda. MAP

The teen, a 14-year-old male, believed to be from Robertson County, was struck by an SUV.

According to officials at the scene, when first-responders arrived, the teen was in the roadway. Medics transported the boy to the Orlinda city park which is situated roughly 3000 feet from the accident site. There the teen was LifeFlighted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

Officials tell Smokey Barn News that the teen was unconscious after the accident as medics prepared him for Lifeflight.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is leading the investigation. At the scene of the accident, a large number of law enforcement professionals from the THP and the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office secured the area and talked with witnesses and the driver of the vehicle.

Hwy 49 was closed for several hours while the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the accident.

The Orlinda Fire Department, Robertson County EMS, the THP, the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office and Lifeflight all responded.

Tuff Slate
Tuff Slate

We have reached out to the THP for more information. As soon as they are prepared to release a statement about the accident we will bring it to you.

The staff at Smokey Barn news will be keeping the teen and his family in our thoughts and prayers.


We have an update on the teen’s condition. He has been identified as Tuff Slate, 14, from Cross Plains. Tuff’s father, Toby Slate, tells Smokey Barn News that it was scary at first but Tuff’s condition has improved. There was a concern that Tuff had spinal injuries but he’s now awake and seems to have full range of movement.

Most of his injuries are in the face and head area. A portion of his skull was removed to allow the brain to swell and heal but Tuff is able to respond to questions by hand squeezing. Mr. Slate says Tuff is on a ventilator, just to lessen the load on his brain but he can respond.

The prognosis for Tuff is now hopeful. It’s still too early, the swelling needs to come down before doctors can better understand Tuff’s road to recovery.

The family would like the community to know that the outpouring of love for their son has been almost overwhelming and they are very thankful. “Thank you, it’s overwhelming the amount of love and positivity,” Tuff’s father Toby Slate told Smokey Barn News Monday afternoon. “Tuff would be so proud of how the community has come together for him. Tell the community we love them and to keep praying for Tuff.”

As far as the accident, what we understand so far is, Tuff was playing hide and seek at a birthday party. A vehicle passed but Tuff didn’t see a second vehicle that followed and he was struck.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is still in the midst of their investigation but they tell Smokey Barn News that some information should be made available to us within the next day or so. Reload this page for updates.

Donations to the family can be made at any Farmers Bank under the name “Tuff Slate.” Or Facebook donations can be made to the family here.

UPDATE: Thursday, November 21.

Tuff’s father, Toby Slate, tells Smokey Barn News that Tuff continues to improve and the family continues to be thankful for the love and support from the community.

The THP has also released its preliminary findings on the accident. They indicate the 38-year-old driver from Orlinda, was traveling west on Highway 49 in a 2005 Ford Explorer as a pedestrian (Tuff) was attempting to cross the roadway at a “non-crosswalk location” and he was struck.  No charges have been filed.

The report also indicates that there were a total of 4 occupants in the vehicle. All 4 were wearing safety restraints and there was no mention of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, no one in the vehicle was injured.

UPDATE December 24th, 2019:

It has been a long hard road to recovery but Tuff is working hard! Tuff is making progress and he’s now up and walking at Rehab. Click here to see a Facebook video of Tuff walking. Go Tuff! Continued thoughts and prayers for the whole family.

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