Skyla Shirriel, 7, is fighting for her life tonight after she was hit by a pickup truck while getting off her school bus right in front of her home in Bryantown Tuesday afternoon.
“She was late last night put in a medically induced coma,” said family friend Mike Wathen.
Wathen and his children are housemates with Skyla and her father. He tells ABC7 News a witness told him his children were nearly hit too.
“The other three little boys were pretty shook up. They had a tough time last night,” said Wathen, tearing up. “They just had questions about what happened to her. They all saw it.”
Police are still investigating, but tell ABC7 it is clear the 35-year-old female driver of the pickup truck didn’t stop for the blinking lights and extended stop sign on Skyla’s school bus.
This is a nationwide problem that bus drivers like Joselyn Brown say they see all to often.
“I will see them coming and know they’re not gonna stop,” said Brown. “I push my horn until they go by [and] they still don’t stop. All of us experience it every day.”
The stats are alarming. In a statewide snapshot survey of school bus drivers, on one day last spring a total of 3,812 bus stop violations were reported, which is up from 3,384 in 2017.
In Charles County on Tuesday, 143 out of 261 drivers reported bus stop sign runners. Along Oliver Shop Road, that problem nearly cost a little girl her life.
“Just stop! Stop when you see the yellow lights even. Slow down! Stop! Somebody’s child is gonna get hurt just like what happened yesterday,” said Brown.
Shirriel is expected to be survive.