Morrisville, N.C. — A 12-year-old girl hit by a car near a school bus stop Monday died from her injuries, Morrisville police said Tuesday.
Anusha Vasudeva, a seventh-grader at Ligon Middle School, was taken to the pediatric intensive care unit at Duke University Hospital after being hit at the intersection of Morrisville Carpenter Road and Gratoit Drive near the Ridgemont subdivision, authorities said.
School staff learned about Vasudeva's death just before the end of the school day Tuesday. Principal Scott Lyons said a letter was sent home with students and that he also read it over the school's loudspeaker prior to dismissal.
Lyons said he held an emergency meeting to inform faculty and will have nine counselors available to work with students Wednesday.
Vasudeva was running to catch her school bus but apparently did not look to her left, police said. That was when a minivan traveling at about 35 mph hit her.
Authorities said the school bus was well down the road and had not yet turned on its emergency flashers. Investigators said the minivan did not appear to be speeding, and they are unlikely to charge the driver.
Parents in the community told WRAL Tuesday that have been concerned about the location of the bus stop for more than four years.
In December 2002, they petitioned the Wake County Public School System to move the bus stop inside the Ridgemont subdivision. The school system denied the request in May 2003 after it deemed the bus stop safe.
Parents hope that in light of Vasudeva's death, the school system will reconsider their request.
"We're not expecting that Wake County guarantees no accidents," said parent Amer Malik. "A realistic point would be to minimize and take actions that minimize the risk to children boarding the school bus."
Wake County school leaders said there are many issues that determine whether a bus stop is safe. They said they are constantly re-evaluating bus stops and will take another look at the Ridgemont stop.
"It's scary," said Pete Rao, who was waiting for his 6-year-old grandaughter to get off the bus Tuesday afternoon. "We don't want any further tragedies to happen here. It's hard to get over this one."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 19 school-age children die each year after being hit near a school bus. Most are from 5 to 7 years old and have darted into the road without looking.