11-year-old Wake County boy recovering after being hit by car
Posted October 1, 2014 7:36 p.m. EDT
Updated October 1, 2014 7:43 p.m. EDT
Apex, N.C. — 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."