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N.C. Boy Receives Serious Injuries When Car Fails to Stop for School Bus

An 11-year-old boy is recovering from a multiple injuries after he was hit by a car as he attempted to board a school bus in Apex, North Carolina. According to a report from the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Michael Burgress, a sixth grade student at West Lake Middle School, was attempting to cross the street to board the bus when a speeding vehicle slammed into the young boy, throwing him into the air.  

The incident occurred at approximately 7 a.m. on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 in front of the Oak Ridge Park Mobile Home Community on Johnson Pond Road. According to police investigators, the school bus, which was headed north, was stopped and had its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. The daily procedure for the children at this bus stop who wait for the bus across from where it stops is to cross the street once they see the stop arm extended.  

As Michael began crossing the street, with two other young children walking behind him, the bus driver spotted a speeding car traveling south, and began honking the horn of the bus in an effort to get the driver of the car to stop. Instead of stopping, the car plowed into the young victim. Witnesses say his body went flying into the air and then landed in a ditch. The other two children were not harmed. The 16-year-old driver of the car who hit Michael claimed she did not see him or the school bus because there was fog impeding her vision. Police have cited her for failure to reduce speed and passing a stopped school bus.

Per North Carolina G.S. 20-217, vehicles driving in either direction of a school bus which is stopped and has its lights flashing and stop arm out are required to stop and are not allowed to begin driving until the bus begins driving again. One day last March, in a survey conducted by the state’s Department of Public Instruction, over 3,000 vehicles violated this law.

The young victim suffered multiple skull fractures and a broken leg from the accident and is facing a long road of recovery, according to his family.

Our Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorneys have assisted many families in navigating through the legal process when their child has been hurt by the negligence of another person.  Families of car accident victims should always contact a North Carolina personal injury attorney to find out what compensation they may be entitled to for pain and loss.

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