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Troopers look for SUV after hit-and-run injures student

Parents want a school bus stop to be moved after a 13-year-old girl was struck by a sport-utility vehicle while crossing the road.

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CLAYTON, N.C. — State troopers were searching for the driver in a hit-and-run at a school bus stop that injured a 13-year-girl Thursday.

The morning was dark and foggy when Maria Ann Taylor set out to across the road to the bus stop at Lassiter Farms Lane and McLemore, investigators said. Then a dark-colored sport-utility vehicle struck her and kept going.

"Witnesses say the driver did not stop or slow down, just continued on," Trooper Daniel Sharpe said.

Several other students were also getting ready to cross the street and watched as their classmate was hit, troopers said.

Taylor suffered a broken leg and jaw, Sharpe said. She underwent surgery at WakeMed and was expected to recover.

Troopers said the SUV driver was clearly at fault. The school bus had come to a complete stop, its stop sign was out, and all its lights were flashing, Sharpe said.

Neighbors expressed concern that the intersection outside a subdivision is too busy to be a safe bus stop.

"I always make them stand back, because I'm scared someone is going to hit them," said Sharon Reese, who takes her elementary school children at the stop every morning. "I'm scared that it's going to happen to another child."

Administrators will try to move the bus stop inside the subdivision, said Billy Sugg, director of Johnston County Schools Transportation Services. He went to the scene and talked to parents Thursday.

Sugg said the subdivision's homeowners' association must give the school system permission before it can move the bus stop.

"I don't know why that bus would not come in here," Reese said.

Troopers are looking for a dark-colored Chevrolet Tahoe or a GMC Yukon sport-utility vehicle, made between 1992 and 1999. The SUV's passenger-side mirror fell off during the hit-and-run, and it could have front-end damage, troopers said.

Anyone who sees a vehicle matching the description, possibly around the Cleveland or Clayton area, should call authorities or dial *HP from a cell phone.


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