Local News

Cary boy hit by truck at school bus stop

Posted March 13, 2009 7:58 a.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2009 8:00 p.m. EDT

— A pickup truck hit a a Carnage Middle School sixth-grader at a bus stop Friday morning in Cary, sending him to the hospital.

Police said that shortly before 7 a.m., a burgundy Ford Ranger pickup struck Joey Liptak, 12, as he was crossing the 10400 block of Penny Road, at Crickentree Drive, east of Kildaire Farm Road.

Neighbors said that the boy and other students were waiting for the school bus outside Oak Grove Elementary School. The bus was late, so they crossed Penny Road to get a ride from a parent. Before they got into a car, though, the bus arrived.

While the students crossed Penny Road again, the pickup hit the boy.

"I saw this car hitting this child, and the child was flying probably 4 or 5 feet in the air," said Marin Boieru, who saw the wreck while driving his daughter to school. "We were both screaming, and I opened the door, and I scream at them. I say, you should stop at bus stops."

The pickup's driver, Rita Braman, 50, and a male passenger stopped and waited with the boy until paramedics arrived, police said.

The boy was transported by ambulance to WakeMed, accompanied by his parents. He was being care for in the intensive-care unit. Hospital officials said they boy was in fair condition and had non-life-threatening injuries.

Police talked to Braman at the scene. She was treated at a local hospital for stress and anxiety over the wreck.

Police said the school bus' safety arm was out and its lights were flashing when the accident occurred. The pickup was coming in the opposite direction of the school bus. Officers would not say if the pickup driver failed to yield to the bus.

Police said they planned to speak with the Wake County District Attorney's Office Monday to determine if charges should be filed.

Penny Road was shut for more than an hour after the wreck.

Neighbors said they have been concerned at the heavy traffic at the bus stop and that several near-misses have occurred at it.

“It was a matter of time before someone was hurt,” parent Jack Sullivan said.

The bus stop was once also used by West Lake Middle School students, but the school system moved that stop in July 2008 after parents petitioned, citing safety concerns.

“I find it interesting that one set of parents was able to move a bus stop for their school, and the school board didn't have the presence of mind to say, 'Well, is it unsafe for this group of children over here?'” Sullivan said.

Wake Schools spokesman Michael Evans said Friday that in light of the accident, a transportation advisory committee will review the safety of the bus stop.

“We need to look into that and see what the circumstances are around those decisions,” Evans said.