published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Three kids hit by truck at Hardee bus stop
BOWLING GREEN -- A 9-year-old was critically injured and two other children were hurt when they were hit by a truck as they waited to get on a school bus Thursday morning in Hardee County.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the bus was stopped with its lights flashing and stop signs extended in the eastbound lane of State Road 62 at 7:23 a.m. when 69-year-old Louis Edward Stephenson of Bowling Green was driving east in his 2000 Ford F-250 truck.
Stephenson told deputies he didn't realize the flashing lights were on a school bus, instead thinking they were the red flashing traffic control lights at the intersection of S.R. 62 and U.S. 17. By the time he realized there was a bus stopped in his path, it was too late to stop.
Stephenson took evasive action and swerved to the right to avoid a collision, but when he drove onto the shoulder he hit three children who were in the process of getting on the bus.
Caylin Morgan Skipper, 9, was critically injured and airlifted to Tampa General hospital. Savannah Keishawna Williams, 6, and Alexis Albivter-Martinez, 8, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Florida Hospital-Wauchula.
Stephenson was cited for failure to stop for a school bus.
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