Local News

6-year-old girl hit, killed after getting off school bus

Posted August 19, 2009 4:42 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2009 8:15 a.m. EDT

— A 6-year-old girl died Wednesday afternoon from injuries sustained when she was hit by a vehicle after she got off a school bus in Raleigh, police said.

Ashley Ramos-Hernandez was struck while walking across the street at about 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of North Hills and Hillock drives, police said. She died at WakeMed.

Ashley attended Green Year Round Elementary School, 5307 Six Forks Road in Raleigh, according to Michael Evans, a spokesman for Wake County schools.

The Jeep that struck the girl was driven by Geraldine Baron Deitz, 83, of Raleigh. She was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and passing a stopped school bus, according to the wreck report.

“The death of a child is always something that causes us to pause and reflect. And in this case, perhaps what we need to reflect on is the need to be especially careful around school buses,” said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

Deitz told police that she was traveling east on North Hills Drive when she saw the stopped school bus facing west. She said she briefly stopped and waited for the bus to turn on Hillock Drive, but when the bus didn’t turn, she continued driving, the wreck report stated.

Deitz said she heard a "thud" and realized she hit a child, according to the report. She told police "that she did not see where the child came from."

Deitz told police that the bus did not activate the appropriate signals to indicate that a child was exiting, the wreck report stated.

Witnesses on the scene said the bus did activate the signals. Evans also said lights and stop arms on the bus appeared to have been working properly.

“I was sitting out here, and I heard a thud, a loud noise coming from the road,” said Beverly Dehaney, who lives near the scene of the incident. “I am just seeing the image of that little girl laying there with her eyes half open and then in a minute, the eyes were closed and she was so lifeless."

Dehaney said her granddaughter, Ana, was friends with the victim.

“It is very, very hard because it could be my granddaughter. She is her friend. It could have been my grandchild coming home like that,” Dehaney said.

Evans said grief counselors will be at the school Thursday to help fellow students cope with the girl’s death.

“I’m trying to console Ana and let her know that she will see her in heaven,” Dehaney said.