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14-year-old girl killed at school bus stop near Garner

Posted March 25, 2013

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— A 14-year-old girl was killed Monday morning at a school bus stop near Garner, a spokesman for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.

Spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said Maria Fernandez Jimenez was crossing N.C. Highway 50 – Benson Highway – near J.R. Drive shortly after 6:30 a.m. when she ran into the path of a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix.

Witnesses said the bus, headed south, was nearing its stop when Jimenez crossed the road, Gordon said. Its amber lights were flashing, but its red lights were not, and its stop arm was not extended.

"We have two independent witnesses behind the bus that state the bus was not completely stopped, and the red lights were not out," Gordon said.

Renee McCoy, the Wake County Public School System's interim director of public relations, said the bus was headed to Garner Magnet High School, where Jimenez was in the ninth grade. 

Six students were on the bus at the time, Gordon said. The girl's 16-year-old brother was with her at the time and was just a few steps behind her.

Garner teen killed at bus stop Garner teen killed at bus stop

"Of course, everybody here is shook up, rightfully so," Gordon said. "Anytime you have a child (who gets struck and dies), it affects everybody from the law enforcement to the community to the school and, more importantly, to the parents." 

Neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the wreck, he said, but it was still dark at that time in the morning.

"That's one of the factors we're looking at," Gordon said.

Although authorities don't expect to file charges in the case, Gordon said the case is a good reminder for drivers to pay attention to their surroundings whenever they see a school bus.

Crisis counselors were on hand at Garner Magnet High School to help students cope, McCoy said.

276 Comments

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  • lopo Mar 27, 9:57 a.m.

    Maybe the police should follow some of these buses and do their jobs instead of making speed traps that punish everyone except your true speeders or pulling people for seat belts.

  • Pretzel Logic Mar 26, 3:20 p.m.

    RE : I have seen buses run down the road for a 1/2 mile before they pull the red light, it is too confusing.

    Why is it confusing the rule is very clear,,, Yellow... not only are you not supposed to stop you are not required to stop ,,, by law, Red,,, Stop. If people would just understand the law and follow rather than everyone making up a different version of the law as they see fit, Rules/Laws are written as Standards so their is "Order" where everyone is doing the same thing,

    It's really simple.

  • Whosays Mar 26, 2:56 p.m.

    I think they should do away with the yellow lights on buses all together and just use the red lights, if you want someone to stop red is the key. I have seen buses run down the road for a 1/2 mile before they pull the red light, it is too confusing.

  • Pretzel Logic Mar 26, 2:34 p.m.

    RE : I thought pedestrians always had the right of way? The driver is always at fault if they hit a person. I guess I am wrong?

    The right of way does not give the right to step out into moving traffic

  • Pretzel Logic Mar 26, 1:56 p.m.

    RE : After reading the preceding comments, I noticed how narrow minded people are. Root cause analysis dictates that you ask, in addition to the other questions asked: Since SR50 is 2 lanes, what caused the driver to hit this child? Assuming that the driver was approaching the bus from behind, which appears to be the only way that the child would not have been seen, the driver in an attempt not to have to stay behind the bus as it continually stopped on SR50, would have "sped" around the bus....

    After reading this here comment I noticed how... people are

    Did you read the article ?

    Or are you just assuming your way through life ?

  • Capitals Fan Mar 26, 1:52 p.m.

    "Why has the driver not been placed under arrest?"---Obamecare Rises

    "FOR WHAT? Find a law that the driver broke, please."---leo-nc

    I thought pedestrians always had the right of way? The driver is always at fault if they hit a person. I guess I am wrong?

  • Pretzel Logic Mar 26, 1:50 p.m.

    RE : The fact of the matter is simple. We are not willing to spend money (raise taxes) to assure the safety of our children nor to compensate those who teach them!

    How about "THEIR PARENTS TEACH THEM FOR FREE !!!

    "WITHOUT RAISING TAXES"

  • cwalters125 Mar 26, 1:14 p.m.

    The fact of the matter is simple. We are not willing to spend money (raise taxes) to assure the safety of our children nor to compensate those who teach them! How bout it USA? Are your pursuits in life worth so much that you are not willing to adequately compensate those who risk their lives to save ours? Here are the some of the most important, but under-paid professions: Police, Fire, Rescue, Teachers. How must is spent annually on what we consider important (entertainment) vs those who educate and risk their lives????

  • leo-nc Mar 26, 1:13 p.m.

    "Why has the driver not been placed under arrest?"---Obamecare Rises

    FOR WHAT? Find a law that the driver broke, please.

  • cwalters125 Mar 26, 1:09 p.m.

    blah, I gave the benefit of the doubt. IF the car was traveling in the opposite direction then the driver should have seen the child and the flashing yellow lights that say SLOW DOWN FOR CHILDREN. nuf said.

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