Young girl hit by school bus still in critical condition

Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-01 17:25:14-04

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah -- A 10-year-old girl was transported to a hospital Wednesday in critical condition after being hit by a school bus in South Jordan.

Officials gave the victim's age Wednesday as 8 years old, but they later corrected that information and stated the victim is a 10-year-old girl. As of Thursday afternoon, the child remained in critical condition.

South Jordan Police Department officials said the girl was getting off her own school bus and for some reason walked, or possibly ran, in front of traffic, which is when she was hit by a second bus. A number of fellow students on both buses witnessed the incident.

"The child started to cross the street and the other school bus didn't see her, where she was struck in the roadway," said Master Officer Sam Winkler of the South Jordan Police Department.

Hours after the accident, the victim’s clothes were still strung across the middle of Cedarwood Lane in South Jordan, where the accident took place just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. It took place a few blocks away from the child's home.

The girl, who attends Welby Elementary School, was transported to Intermountain Medical Center and from there flown to Primary Children's Hospital. Police said she suffered major head trauma and was in critical condition.

"From the school district, we just want the community to know that our thoughts are with the family and the child right now," said Sandy Riesgraf of the Jordan School District.

Officials said Thursday the driver of the bus that hit the child is on paid administrative leave as the investigation unfolds, which is standard procedure.

Police said they are in the process of interviewing both bus drivers as well several other witnesses in the area.

"It's way too early in the investigation to determine if anyone is possibly going to be charged, that will all come out as the investigation unfolds," Winkler said.

Sarat Rimal has a daughter who attends Welby Elementary School. He said this type of accident is unbearable for any parent.

"It's very devastating, mind boggling, emotions all over the place," he said. "I have a 6-year-old, to find out a [young] girl got run over by the bus: I don't know what to think right now."

Rimal said he watches school buses travel this neighborhood every day, and he never thought safety was ever an issue.

"I've never really seen the school buses operate out of norm, they seem to have good drivers and follow the rules,” Rimal said. “I haven't heard anything like that in this neighborhood and I've been living in the neighborhood for 15 years, it's unfortunate this has happened."

The Jordan School District will have counselors at their various schools Thursday to help any students affected by the incident.