They Were Waiting for the Bus. Then, Backpacks Everywhere

Tampa car crash that injured 7 is 5th time in 3 days that accidents occurred at or near bus stops
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 9:17 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2018 12:10 PM CDT
They Were Waiting for the Bus. Then, Backpacks Everywhere
Stop when you see this sign on a bus.   (Getty Images/JerryX)

(Newser) – School safety has become a nationwide issue, but now school bus stops are also in the spotlight, for a completely different reason. CNN notes that, for the fifth time in three days, kids have been injured or killed at or near bus stops, with the latest story coming out of Tampa, Fla. Two adults and five kids, ages 6 through 12, were hospitalized Thursday after witnesses say a Ford Escort slammed into them, sending backpacks, shoes, and other pieces of clothing flying. WFLA says the group that the car hit was made up of parents and kids walking to the bus stop about a block away. Two of the children are said to have serious injuries, with one in critical condition, but all those injured are expected to survive. In the other accidents, a total of five children have died. More on the crashes:

  • The driver of the car in Tampa has been IDed as 47-year-old Brian Darnell West, who witnesses say pulled over about a block away from where the pedestrians were hit after bystanders shouted at him to stop, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Cops say the crash didn't seem to be intentional and that West didn't seem to be under the influence, but an investigation is ongoing.
  • One of this week's more horrific bus-stop stories is one out of Indiana, in which three young siblings were killed. The driver in that case says she didn't realize the stopped vehicle in front of her with the flashing lights was a school bus.
  • On Halloween, a 9-year-old boy was struck and killed by a truck while waiting for a bus near his Mississippi home, WCBI reports. A 22-year-old man was initially charged with aggravated assault in that case; it's not clear yet if the charges will be upgraded now that the boy has died.
  • Also Wednesday, in Tallahassee, Fla.: A car slammed into a 5-year-old boy as he was trying to board his bus, WCTV reports. Police say the 19-year-old driver got two traffic citations, and a rep for the family of the kindergartner (who's apparently going to be OK) says the driver reached out to apologize.

  • A hit-and-run death was reported Thursday morning involving a 7-year-old in Franklin Township, Pa., who was found dead at his bus stop by a bus driver. ABC News reports that police believe they've found the driver, who apparently didn't realize their car had hit anyone.
  • So what's behind the sudden rash of bus stop disasters? A rep from the Mississippi Highway Patrol says distracted driving has become a "huge problem," meaning motorists are so caught up with their phones, digital dashboards, and other techie distractions that they're failing to notice stopped school buses, CBS News reports.
  • Some advice for bus drivers comes via the New York Daily News, including on that "final check" they should make: Don't motion for the kids until they're sure all traffic has stopped. Kids should get training and education on getting on and off the bus as well, David Boroff writes.
The uncle of the 9-year-old girl who died in Indiana says she tried to shield her 6-year-old twin brothers from the hit. (Read more school bus stories.)

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