PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - A 14-year-old Petersburg girl has serious injuries after she was hit by a car while walking to her bus stop, family members say.
Petersburg police responded around 7 a.m. to the 1000 block of S. Crater Road for reports of an auto-pedestrian accident.
Upon arriving at the scene, officers learned the teenager had been hit by a car while attempting to cross the road.
“The juvenile sustained injuries that are serious in nature that required her to be transferred to a Richmond area hospital,” police said.
“When my son came up this morning he said she was in the middle of the street," said LaTonya White, the victim’s Aunt.
The thought of what happened to White’s niece is still difficult for her to comprehend.
“It could have been my son, it could have been the both of them,” she said.
White said many high school students have to cross the busy four lane road in order to get to their bus stop.
“The bus stop is right where the gray building is at,” she added.
“It’s dangerous to be crossing the street on Crater Road,” said Ted Perrypiece, who lives in the area.
Perrypiece has seen plenty of accidents living near the intersection and saw the aftermath of Thursday’s crash.
“We need a crosswalk not only for kids but for adults too,” he said.
The 14-year-old was taken to Southside Regional Medical Center first and was then transported to VCU Medical Center where she remains in the ICU.
“She has a brain bleed,” White said.
The girl’s grandmother also said she has a collapsed lung among other injuries, but no broken bones.
Petersburg police said the driver of the car involved in the accident stayed at the scene and cooperated with officers.
“The driver is not at fault and did not run a red light,” police said.
However, since school started the family said they’ve contact school board members to try and get the bus stop location changed.
"Why do these kids have to cross from over here to all the way over there,” White said. “Look at all these cars over here now coming up and down the street."
Elementary school and middle school students off Crater Road are typically dropped off in their neighborhoods, neighbors said.
According to the Virginia Administrative Code for student transportation it states, “On dual highways divided by a physical barrier, unpaved area, or five lane highway with turning lane, buses shall be routed so that pupils will be picked up and discharged on the side of the road on which they live.”
Friday a spokesperson for Petersburg City Public Schools released a statement reading:
"The Petersburg City Public Schools family is united in hoping for and supporting a healthy recovery for our student who was involved in a vehicle accident while crossing Crater Road yesterday morning. There are some reports that indicate our student was trying to cross the road in order to get to a bus stop.
The bus stops created by our school division are in compliance with Virginia codes and regulations. Additionally, bus stops are created based on the information given to us by parents and families regarding where a student resides. None of our bus stops require students to cross lanes of traffic. Our buses make pickups on the door side, specifically the right lane. We encourage our parents and families to remind their children to be on alert and safe when going to their assigned bus stop.
At Petersburg City Public Schools, we never want any tragedy like this to happen. We review situations like this to make sure safeguards remain in place to prevent accidents from reoccurring. Our thoughts and hearts are with our student who was injured and with the student’s family that has been affected as well."
According to the 2019-2020 bus route locations, there is a bus stop at the corner of S. Crater Road and Toll Gate Lane.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
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