Child struck by car at bus stop

Jan. 10, 2013 @ 10:42 AM

A 6-year-old girl was struck by a car Wednesday morning while crossing the street to board a school bus.
The incident happened about 7:35 a.m. at Gordon Street and Kimery Drive at a bus stop for Montlieu Elementary School. The bus was stopped in the northbound lane of Gordon Street with its stop arm extended and red lights activated when a southbound 2002 Saturn approached.
The bus driver saw the car coming and blew the horn to try to get the child’s attention, but she stepped on to the roadway and was hit, according to High Point police Lt. Barry Roberts.
The child, who was not identified by police, suffered minor injuries and was treated at High Point Regional Hospital.
The driver of the Saturn stopped after hitting the girl. She was identified as Eugenie Niyomwungere, 21, of Dartmouth Avenue. She was charged with passing a stopped school bus involving an injury, which is a felony.
Niyomwungere was driving an estimated 30 mph and claimed she didn’t see the bus, Roberts said. Neither excessive speed nor impairment were thought to be contributing factors, police said.
Authorities said they have seen a recent increase in incidents involving vehicles passing stopped school buses. Roberts said he believes the only possible explanation for the increase is inattentive driving.
Last month, an 11-year-old boy was killed after being hit by an SUV while trying to board a school bus in Kernersville. As in Wednesday’s incident, the victim in that case was crossing the road when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.
State troopers reported that the bus in that incident was stopped with its arm extended and lights flashing.
Earlier this week in Winston-Salem, a 7-year-old girl was hit by a car as she crossed the street to get on a stopped school bus. The child was not seriously injured in that case. The vehicle fled the scene, but the driver later was apprehended and charged with hit and run and passing a stopped school bus.
In October 2012, an 11-year-old boy was hit by a pickup truck while crossing the road to a bus stop at Hasty School Road and Camden Woods Drive near Thomasville. The boy was not seriously injured, and the driver of the truck was not charged. The bus was not at the stop at the time of the accident.