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12-year-old struck by driver while walking to school bus on east side

Posted at 8:49 AM, Jun 26, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — A 12-year-old girl walking toward a school bus was seriously injured Wednesday morning on the city's east side.

According to IMPD officers at the scene, a 12-year-old girl was struck by the driver of a Jeep Wrangler while in the crosswalk at Kitley Avenue and E. Washington Street.

The girl was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

Believe Schools, who owns the school bus and is currently hosting Indy Summer Labs, identified the victim as a girl named Hope in a statement released to WRTV.

The statement, which Believe Schools attributes to the mother of the victim, is below:

We are grateful for the outpouring of support for our daughter, Hope, who was hit by a car. She is in stable condition and has a long road to recovery ahead of her, but she is a fighter and we have no doubt she will be back on her feet soon. As an avid basketball player and Junior Chef, we know she is eager to get back to doing what she loves. We ask for privacy as we focus on Hope's recovery. Thank you for respecting our family's wishes during this difficult time.

According to officers at the scene, Believe Schools' bus had their stop arm out at the location at the time of the incident.

The driver of the Jeep Wrangler was taken for a blood draw from the scene — a common practice in serious crashes. They were later released pending further investigation.

Teresa Storm lives steps away from the crash scene. She said she is angry at the driver for striking a child while a school bus was in sight.

"To think that wherever you need to go is more important than the life and safety of a child is so wrong," Storm said. "Injury or death of a child is unconscionable. It just shouldn't happen."

Storm said she worked as a special education teacher for multiple decades and saw drivers routinely disregarding a school bus' stop sign.

"Everybody knows the rules," Storm said. "They all know the rules, but they choose not to do it."

According to Indiana law, traffic in both directions of a four-lane road such as Washington Street must stop when a bus displays its stop signs.

Storm said driving like this makes her afraid to use Washington Street.

"My dentist, my doctor, they're all within a block. I could easily walk to those appointments, but I won't do it."

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