Girl, 6, hit by school bus in Otsego flown to hospital - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Girl, 6, hit by school bus in Otsego flown to hospital

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Girl struck by school bus Girl struck by school bus
Photo by Scott Wasserman Photo by Scott Wasserman
OTSEGO, Minn. (KMSP) -

It's not the way any family hopes to end the school year, but a 6-year-old girl is now hospitalized after she was hit by the school bus that had just dropped her off a mere 5 houses down from her home.

The Wright County Sheriff's Office confirmed that a child was struck by a school bus and flown to a nearby hospital in the city of Otsego on Thursday afternoon.

VIDEO: Kindergarten student airlifted to hospital

Officials said they do not plan to release any information on the child at this time other than to say the victim was conscious after the accident; however, close family friends told Fox 9 News the victim is 6-year-oldKeiraa Devens.

The crash occurred at about 3:15 p.m. at the intersection of Padget Avenue Northeast and 82nd Circle Northeast. The kindergartner was struck as she got off the bus and dropped some papers. Witnesses say the driver thought she had gone.

"She got off the bus and was fumbling around," neighbor and witness Jamie Plantenberg-Selbitschka. "Lots of stuff to bring home, last day of school -- she dropped some stuff. I don't know if something went under. She went down to pick it up and the bus driver didn't realize she hadn't crossed the street yet and started to go forward."

To make matters worse, the little girl's parents were waiting in their car to pick up their daughter so that she wouldn't have to walk home in the rain.

"They had hopped out of their car and must not have put it in park," witness Valerie Hickman, who lives next door to the victim's family, told Fox 9 News. "So, the car started rolling and hit the front of the bus."

Hickman was in her garage when she heard the screams.

"My understanding is she was under the bus," Hickman said. "I couldn't see from my side. The dad had to pull her out."

Within minutes, help arrived. A helicopter came to rush Devens to the hospital.

Hickman's own daughter often plays with the "next-door neighbor girl," and she says the tragic accident is a lesson all families can learn from.

"You think she's safe. The parents are right there at the bus stop and watching, and it happened quickly," she said.

Hickman also spoke with the bus driver just after the accident and added that "she was not doing well."

"She was upset, shaking, crying -- doesn't want to drive a bus," Hickman relayed. "It was the last day of school and she said, 'We made it fine all winter' and she was feeling really bad."

Otsego is part of the Elk River Area School District, and according to their calendar, they had an emergency make-up day today. The school district released the following statement on the crash:

This afternoon a student from Otsego Elementary was involved in an accident at their bus stop. The student’s parents were at the scene. The student was transported to a hospital.

All other students on the bus are safe, and district support personnel are on the bus and will accompany children for the remainder of the route. No further information is available at this time.

Law enforcement may be contacting your student in the future for investigative purposes.

The Minnesota State Patrol and Wright County Sheriff's Office are investigating. Meanwhile, neighbors are hoping the girl with a bright, warm smile recovers soon.

"She is full of life, an amazing little girl," Plantenberg-Selbitschka said. "Everybody is wishing nothing but the best for the family right now, hoping and praying Keira is fine."


June 3, 2014: Semi driver that nearly hit student boarding bus turns self in
May 31, 2014: Winona school bus company investigated for brake problem
May 29, 2014: Woman hit, trapped under school bus in downtown Minneapolis
May 20, 2014: Video captures school bus inferno as it rolls down Interstate 94
May 1, 2014: Mom of napping 6th grader left alone in parked school bus waits for apology

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