Taylor Chriswell, 7, of Hesperia died last Thursday after being hit by a car while waiting for her school bus, according to officials at Hesperia Unified School District in California.
Hesperia Superintendent David McLaughlin confirmed the victim was a second-grade student at Juniper Elementary, and she was with fellow students who were waiting for the bus at Sycamore Street and Peach Avenue when she was struck by an oncoming motorist. The school bus was not on the scene.
The girl was attempting to cross Peach Avenue when the driver of a 2002 Chevy Impala traveling northbound was unable to avoid the pedestrian, according to a news release from the San Bernardino County’s Sheriff’s Department. The victim went down in the roadway as the motorist came to a stop, police said. She suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center, where she later died.
The female driver of the Impala did not receive any injuries from the collision. Alcohol and speed did not appear to be a factor, said Sgt. Doug Hubbard.
Hubbard stated that deputies from the Hesperia Station's Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) were working with Hesperia School Police to locate any student witnesses who were in the area at the time.
Neighborhood resident Heather Wingo told the local CBS station that Peach Avenue is one of the most “dangerous streets” in Hesperia because there are many blind corners and motorists often exceed the speed limit.
When asked why more safety measures were not taken at the bus stop, city spokeswoman Rachel Molina wrote, “The Hesperia City Council and staff were saddened to hear of the tragic loss of a young student from our community today. The City does not determine school bus stop locations, which often change from one school year to the next. That determination is made by the Hesperia Unified School District. Peach Avenue is an arterial in Hesperia, and it would not be appropriate to place a four-way stop at each intersecting street.”
Superintendent McLaughlin told CBS that district officials would carefully review their bus stop locations but noted it is nearly impossible not to have them on busy streets.
In a written statement, he said there was a team of counselors at the school to meet with children as needed.
“The principal and teachers at the school are keeping a very close eye on these children, in an effort to offer the support that they might need as they process this devastating event,” McLaughlin said. “Our hearts and thoughts are with this family, as they face the unthinkable.”