HomeNewsOne Student Killed, One Critical After Accidents

One Student Killed, One Critical After Accidents

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating two bus stop accidents that happened the same day, Jan. 29, at around the same time, resulting in the death of one student and critical injuries for another.

A vigil to remember Gianna Asencio, 14, of Clay County is scheduled for Tuesday evening at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, with services set for Wednesday. The freshman from Fleming Island High School was struck by a car while walking to her bus stop early in the morning, before sunrise. Police said Asencio was trying to cross the road, stepping between two oncoming cars, when she was hit. She died at the scene.

Troopers investigating the pedestrian accident announced earlier this week the case has been ruled accidental, according to the local NBC station, and no charges will be filed against the 58-year-old motorist involved.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) assisted FHP with the investigation. The CCSO stated there was not an active school zone or CCSO crossing guard working in the area at the time. The school zone near the crash site is the one for Fleming Island Elementary School, which is not activated until after 7:15 a.m., or 45 minutes after the accident.

The second pedestrian accident also occurred during the dark predawn hours, but at a school bus stop in Osceola County, about three hours south of Clay County. In this case, neighborhood parents said they had expressed concern about the dark path to the bus stop for some time before the crash.

This bus stop was moved the day after Caleb Burgos, 12, was hit by a car while trying to cross the street. As of last Friday, Osceola County Public Schools students will be picked up inside the Cobblestone Apartment complex, which means they no longer have to walk across a dark patch of road where the speed limit is 45 mph, reported NBC.

Troopers said Burgos was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital, where he remained in critical condition Friday morning, and confirmed the crash is still under investigation.

They added that the bus’ stop signs had not yet been deployed, but its lights were flashing at the time of the crash. Florida law requires drivers to stop when a school bus has activated its stop arm and flashing lights.

Recently state Sen. David Simmons (R-Altamonte-Springs) introduced Gabby’s Bill, which would increase penalties for motorists who pass a stopped school bus. The bill is named after Gabby Mair, a 12-year-old girl who was struck by a car right after exiting her school bus and then pronounced brain-dead. Last year one student died and at least four were hit and injured while crossing roads on the way to school in Jacksonville and surrounding communities.

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