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11-year-old Wake County boy recovering after being hit by car

Posted October 1, 2014

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— An 11-year-old hit by a car while getting on a school bus in southern Wake County could be home by next week, his father said Wednesday, a day after the wreck that left the boy with a skull fracture and a long road to recovery.

Michael Burgess Jr., a sixth-grader at West Lake Middle School in Apex, was getting on his school bus Tuesday morning on Johnson Pond Road when, authorities say, a teen driver hit him with her car and knocked him into a roadside ditch.

Burgess's father, Michael Burgess Sr., said his son spent Tuesday night in the pediatric intensive care unit at WakeMed in Raleigh but that he was listed in good condition Wednesday.

Still, the older Burgess said, the boy has a long road to recovery.

Besides a skull fracture, Burgess Jr. also has a severe concussion, a broken ankle and cuts and bruises all over his body.

In addition to the physical wounds, there are the psychological.

Burgess Sr. said he remembered reassuring his son on Tuesday that everything would OK, even though he wasn't convinced that what he was saying was true.

"He opened his eyes and said, 'I love you, daddy. I don’t want to die. Don't let me die,'" Burgess Sr. said.

"There's that moment of not knowing," he continued. "It's just an emptiness inside that you feel. It's hard."

Now, the feelings range from anger to sadness.

The driver, Lindsey Tight, 16, who was on her way to school, told authorities she didn't see the stopped school bus in the morning fog. She was cited for failure to reduce speed and passing a stopped school bus.

"I feel bad for the girl, because it was an accident," Burgess Sr. said. "But it's one that should never have happened."

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  • tiglets135 Oct 6, 2014

    yes I believe the girl was not charged - I believe it was a case where timing, fog and the eagerness of the boy was all a factor - also not to mention the Wake County Bus system should be held mostly responsible - Buses should not be making kids cross the street

  • Brian Hill Oct 2, 2014
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    I'm not saying she shouldn't be held accountable. But you have people calling for decades in prison and felonies and all of that which is over the top.

    An appropriate punishment would be no license until 18, community service, and restitution to the family for medical costs etc. An appropriate punishment would not involve jail time (she is not a hardened criminal and the guilt of what she has done will be punishment enough in that regard). In addition, the school district needs to be held accountable for contributory negligence in creating an unsafe situation and forcing children to cross the street in pitch black foggy darkness.

  • beaupeep Oct 2, 2014

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    I bet they found that the stop arm was not extended.

  • runsracks2 Oct 2, 2014

    Thank god he seems like he's improving. We'll be praying for him Tot..

  • Drew Savicki Oct 2, 2014
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    She was not charged. WRAL misreported it. They are now reporting she received a citation. She'll go before a magistrate but it is not a criminal case.

  • Justin Case Oct 2, 2014
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    No desire for vengeance. But at what point to we, as a society of family, start to hold people accountable for their actions? The driver needs to be charged and at least her license revoked for a while. Despite the well meaning of standing by and say 'aw, shucks' and being quick to forgive "accidents", we need to set an example more often than we do. Not being harsh, just practical for all of our sakes.

  • beaupeep Oct 2, 2014

    The story does not mention if the stop arm was extended. If the teen was headed south and the bus had not yet put out the arm, it may be a case of terrible timing where the bus was a little late on the arm, the boy was a ltlle eager entering the road and the teen made the choice to make it past before the arm came out.

  • Brian Hill Oct 2, 2014
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    It was dark, foggy, and the 16-year old was most likely half alseep from being forced to wake up so early (despite it being a proven fact that teenagers and children need more sleep than adults). Between having to get up at ungodly hours, 7 hours of school, 3 hours of homework, dinner, and after school activities, teenagers these days are lucky to get 5 hours of sleep. Vilifying the teen serves no purpose other than to satisfy some primitive need for vengeance.

    In addition, if people were truly concerned about the safety of children, they would not have them crossing the street. In most countries, they don't have kids crossing the street and they don't require people to stop for school buses and yet the fatality and accident rates involving school bus stops are actually lower. Forcing children to cross the street is dangerous and the government shares responsibility here.

  • Glock07 Oct 2, 2014

    Great news. This family is very lucky.

  • Justin Case Oct 2, 2014
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    Prayers for the Burgess' family!

    Charges for the 16yo driver. She was obviously not taught the importance of stopping for school buses.

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