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Girl in Coma After Being Hit While Getting Off School Bus

Photograph by Twenty20

A 7-year-old girl from Maryland is in critical condition after a car slammed into the child as she was getting off of her school bus on November 27. A driver in a pickup truck hit Skyla Shirriel as she was exiting the bus—right in front of her home. After being placed in a medically induced coma, the elementary school student is now reported as stable but still fighting for her life.

According to a parent, other children at the bus stop were nearly hit and only just narrowly missed.

Mike Wathen, a father and family friend who lives with Skyla and her dad, told ABC7 News that other children—including his own—were almost injured in the accident. "The other three little boys were pretty shook up. They had a tough time last night," Wathen said. "They just had questions about what happened to her. They all saw it."

According to police, a 35-year-old female driver didn't stop for the bus—despite its stop sign being extended and blinking lights on. Police are still investigating.

The 35-year-old female driver didn't stop for the bus—despite its stop sign being extended and blinking lights on.

A 10-year-old boy from Tennessee is also a recent victim in this upsetting string of vehicle accidents involving children getting hit at their bus stops.

The elementary school student was boarding his bus early in the morning on Tuesday when a driver, 41-year-old Crystal Buchanan, was coming from the opposite direction. She failed to stop and hit him. Thankfully, the accident wasn't fatal, but the story has caused fury online with parents who see this as another example of a growing problem with kids getting hit while trying to make their way to school.

According to WCYB News, the incident happened while the bus was stopped, had its blinkers on and its arm extended to indicate that children were boarding.

Police who later investigated found that the car was driving slightly below the speed limit and was coming from the opposite direction when it slammed into the boy, who has yet to be identified, as he crossed the road.

The child was taken to the hospital via ambulance, but it's being reported that he didn't sustain any life-threatening injuries. At the time, the bus was carrying five other children on board and no one else was hurt.

As for Buchanan, the Jonesborough, Tennessee, resident has been charged and booked into the Washington County Detention Center, according to the police report published by the Washington County Sheriff's Office. She has been charged with one count of felony reckless endangerment and one count of failure to yield to stopped school bus and was released after posting a $1,000 bond.

Sadly, these aren't isolated incidents.

The problem of children being hit while waiting at the bus stop or boarding has become a serious problem, especially in the past two months when multiple incidents resulted in death.

In October, a 9-year-old girl in Indiana attempted to shield her 6-year-old twin brothers as a pickup came barreling toward them while walking to the bus. All three children died upon impact.

On November 2, "CBS This Morning" reported on a group of seven people—two adults and five children—who were hit while waiting at a bus stop in Tampa, Florida.

"Each year we see about 120 fatalities," Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, explained to reporters. "The No. 1 takeaway is really for the drivers of cars around school buses to be alert and attentive and look out for the safety of children."

But many parents are arguing online that counting on drivers to pay better attention when coming near a school bus just isn't enough. They argue that change needs to come from lawmakers, who have more control over enforcing laws and raising consequences for those failing to stop.

On October 31, a petition was created on the White House's "We the People" platform, which urges lawmakers to institute stronger penalties for people who "choose to violate the red lights on a bus such as 30 days in jail, 90 day [driver's license] suspension, 12 points on license and a mandatory minimum fine of $5000.00 for the first offense."

As of this reporting, more than 16,000 people have signed the petition.

Additional reporting by Genny Glassman.

This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.