Local News

SUV hits brother, sister crossing road to get on school bus

Posted October 2, 2014

— A 10-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister were seriously injured early Thursday morning in a hit-and-run as they were getting on a school bus in the Wilson County community of Sims - the third such incident in two weeks.

Lt. Jeff Gordon, a spokesman for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, said German Arroyo-Correa and Areli Arroyo-Correa – a fourth-grader and kindergartner at Rock Ridge Elementary School – were taken to WakeMed in Raleigh, where they were listed in serious condition Thursday afternoon.

The driver of the red Ford Explorer that hit them, Marcos Santiaga Bautista, 27, of Sims, was later found and arrested.

He was jailed under a $30,000 bond on charges of felony hit-and-run, felony passing a stopped school bus, driving without a license, failure to register a motor vehicle and displaying fictitious registration.

Gordon said there were no indications that alcohol or weather were factors in the wreck.

Investigators said the school bus had stopped outside the children's home around 6:50 a.m. and had activated its stop arm and caution lights for the siblings to cross the road when the Explorer, traveling in the opposite direction, hit the children as they crossed the street.

The driver then fled the scene, and Wilson County sheriff's deputies found him and the SUV about a mile way behind a tobacco barn.

"The troopers did a fantastic job. As soon as we got the call, troopers located evidence from that vehicle and immediately started looking for the vehicle," Gordon said.

No other children were on the bus at the time.

"We are collaborating with law enforcement and ask that you keep these students and their families in your thoughts today," a Wilson County Schools spokeswoman said in a statement.

Thursday's accident is the third in two weeks involving young students waiting for the bus.

Michael Burgess Jr., 11, is recovering from his injuries after a 16-year-old driver hit him Tuesday morning when, she said, she didn't see a stopped bus in southern Wake County because of fog.

Keith Jones Jr., of Wendell, was killed Sept. 23 after a man on his way to work hit the 13-year-old, who was waiting for the bus outside his house.

While there have been efforts in recent years to improve school bus safety, accidents and deaths continue, said Ben Matthews, director of Safe and Healthy Schools Support Division with the state Department of Public Instruction.

"A safe school bus is not going to stop a driver that's not paying attention," he said.

Matthews is afraid such accidents will only continue due to budget cuts.

"That will be a recurring theme across the state because we have had to consolidate routes, shorten routes," he said.

Gordon said the key is for drivers to pay attention and stop when a bus has activated its lights and stop arm – and for parents to teach their children how to cross the road.

"Just because the bus is stopped and the arms are activated, does not mean the motoring public is going to stop as well," he said.


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  • USMC Vet Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread


    And start making illegal aliens pay any fines and serve any jail/prison time they incur BEFORE deporting them, including the fines and jail/prison time for illegally immigrating here in the first place. That would slow the revolving doors at our borders.

  • goobnav Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    2 Drivers without a driver's license is not a budget failure and not coincidence.

    It's the incompetence of bureaucracy for allowing these fools to be on the road!!!

    Both never reported the accidents and both ran, even the person who turned himself in did not stop. If you have an accident that causes vehicular damage and don't stop, your incompetent or committed a crime that you know you did!!!

    No budget can correct stupid or illegal acts. The budget issues should not even be an issue.

  • USMC Vet Oct 3, 2014

    So now they're making the kids the responsible parties, when it's adults who are passing stopped school buses, running them down. smh


    Time to make passing a stopped school bus a FELONY resulting in LONG jail terms and HEFTY fines, especially if a child is hurt or dies during the crime.

  • glarg Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Assuming that they have any intention of obeying the laws in the first place.

    "charges of felony hit-and-run, felony passing a stopped school bus, driving without a license, failure to register a motor vehicle and displaying fictitious registration"

    This young Dreamer clearly has no respect for the laws of (this) country.

    There is nothing to say that he ever read a drivers manual or has any familiarity with North Carolina traffic laws.

  • Gail Dragon Oct 3, 2014
    user avatar

    This is crazy, how many children do we need to lose before people start driving responsibly. Regardless of budget cuts a stopped school bus is very easy to see, slow the heck down and put down your phones.

  • Kimberly Daniel Oct 3, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    They are referring to the budget cuts that change bus routes to focus more on efficiency and less on safety, not the drivers ed budget cuts. Students are walking further to bus stops on busier roads to save the gas/time of sending buses closer to the house and making more stops.

  • disgusted2010 Oct 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Its not in WRAL's charter to tell the truth or to report facts. WRAL is a leftist, agenda driven excuse for a news outlet. Perhaps the FCC will recognize this the next time their license is due for renewal and we can get an impartial, fact based, no agenda driven replacement.

  • EricaSliver Oct 3, 2014

    Maybe buses should be allowed to stop at an angle blocking traffic in both lanes a bit??? Just thinking of a quick and cheap possible solution.

  • Bobby Caudle Oct 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Matthews is afraid such accidents will only continue due to budget cuts. What has that got to do with anything? people that does not pay attention has nothing to do with budget cuts!

  • goobnav Oct 3, 2014

    WRAL if you mention budget cuts could have a role in the injuries of these children and the death of the child in Wendell, you are by far the worst "news" organization in the country!!!

    The drivers in BOTH incidents did not have an operators license!!! They were either NOT qualified to drive a vehicle or could not drive a vehicle!!! Report the truth, not speculation!!

    Here's a speculation, WRAL assumed that a possible contribution to these accidents were the locations of the stops were on busy roads and that the "drivers" had difficultly seeing the bus!!

    A bus is yellow, has multiple signals denoting it's location both moving and stopped. Either these "drivers" were legally blind, cannot drive by visual competence or, are so incompetent that they need to be transported through the use of public transportation.

    Quit, lying, subverting the facts or twisting a story. Report the facts, quit speculating.