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‘Slow down! Stop!’ Girl in coma after pickup hit her as she exited Maryland school bus

A pickup truck hit Skyla Shirriel, 7, as she got off a school bus in Charles County, Maryland, police say, leaving her in a medically induced coma in the latest example of kids getting hit by cars at bus stops.
A pickup truck hit Skyla Shirriel, 7, as she got off a school bus in Charles County, Maryland, police say, leaving her in a medically induced coma in the latest example of kids getting hit by cars at bus stops. Screenshot from @ABC7Brad's Twitter account

Skyla Shirriel, 7, started out Tuesday by heading to school, and ended it in a medically induced coma.

Police say the girl from Charles County, Maryland, was exiting her school bus at around 3:45 p.m. when a pickup truck drove past the bus, which had its flashing stop sign out, and slammed into the little girl, according to Fox5.

Mike Wathen, whose family shares a house with the Shirriels, confirmed that the 7-year-old girl was put in a coma Tuesday evening, according to WJLA. He added that his children, who were at the bus stop, were struggling to understand the accident.

“The other three little boys were pretty shook up. They had a tough time last night,” Wathen told WJLA. “They just had questions about what happened to her. They all saw it.”

The bus was transporting children from T.C. Martin Elementary, according to The Associated Press, and Skyla was airlifted to a nearby hospital after the collision. The AP also reported that an unidentified 53-year-old suffered a panic attack that required hospitalization.

Police say the suspect in the crash stayed until authorities arrived, according to Fox5.

The accident is just the latest example of the dangers kids face when getting off and on their school buses.

A video in September, for example, showed a car in Missouri speed over a sidewalk and through a person’s lawn in an apparent attempt to get around a stopped school bus.

Police identified the driver as 52-year-old Matthew S. McCloskey, whom they arrested after the video was released to the public, according to KMOV4. The suspect said he was fleeing the scene of an accident when he tried to get around the school bus, police say.

Police charged McCloskey with driving with a suspended license, violation of a school bus stop sign and leaving the scene of an accident, KMOV4 reported.

A speeding car veered into the front yard of a house to pass a stopped Parkway School District bus on Wednesday morning.

While no one was harmed in that incident, others have proved deadly.

In October, police say, 25-year-old Alyssa Shepherd ran into four children at an Indiana bus stop with her pickup truck, killing three siblings and injuring a fourth child, who was not related to the other three.

The crash took the lives of 6-year-old twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle and 9-year-old sister Alivia Stahl, who died shielding them. A fourth child, identified as 11-year-old Maverik Lowe, was airlifted to a nearby hospital for broken bones.

During a court hearing for the accident, Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper recounted what she had heard from witnesses and those involved in the crash, according to RTV6.

Shepherd explained that she had three children in her car — including her little brother — and she had just dropped her husband off at work, which she usually does not do, Jumper said, according to RTV6. The suspect said she saw lights on the road, Jumper said in court, but by the time she realized they were from a stopped school bus it was too late.

That incident is an example of why Joselyn Brown, a bus driver, urges people to practice extra caution around school buses, ABC7 reported in an interview after the crash that injured Skyla.

“Just stop! Stop when you see the yellow lights even,” she told the outlet. “Slow down! Stop! Somebody’s child is gonna get hurt just like what happened yesterday.”

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