FORT PIERCE, Fl. – Members of a high school track team were left stranded 175-miles away from home after their coach, who was driving them to a meet, was arrested.
On Friday, April 6, Homestead Senior High School assistant Track and Field coach, Walter Chambliss, was driving members of school’s track team to a meet that took place in Gainesville this past weekend.
According to the arrest report, a Florida Highway Patrol helicopter clocked him traveling on State Road 91 in Fort Pierce at speeds that reached as high as 86 miles-per-hour. He was pulled over and troopers discovered his driver's license was suspended multiple times over, and that he also had several outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Chambliss, 26, was taken into custody and the rental car he was driving was towed. According to a parent, the students would have been left by the roadside to fend for themselves, until one of them called his parents and informed them of what was taking place.
“At first I was shocked and couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” said Clayrinski Wilson, parent of two of the student athletes. “I called the [school’s] athletic director [Aaron Harris], and he told me it was not a school issue and they had nothing to do with it.”
Harris could not be reached and did not return calls seeking comment.
Wilson contends it was in fact a school sponsored trip, but he says school officials didn’t seem concerned about the children’s safety and refused to offer any assistance in getting them back home.
He then contacted the FHP troopers on the scene and convinced them to take the students to a nearby truck stop. He then arranged for relatives in the St. Lucie County area to pick them up. His wife then made the two and half hour trip to Fort Pierce and returned to Homestead later that night.
Records show Chambliss was released from the St. Lucie County Jail on Saturday morning.
Efforts to reach him were not successful.
“The school offered no help at all,” Wilson said. “They just didn’t care and they need to explain why."
Wilson says he will file formal complaints on Monday, and is seeking an investigation into the incident, and what he calls the “careless lack of regard” on the part of Homestead Senior High School officials, for the students’ welfare.
*Pictured above is Homestead Senior High School assistant Track & Field coach Walter Chambliss.