Garner High student killed at bus stop in front of brother, other students

kjahner@newsobserver.comMarch 25, 2013 

— A 14-year-old Garner Magnet High School student was killed Monday when she was struck by a car in front of her home when she crossed the roadway as her school bus approached its stop.

Maria Fernandez Jimenez was crossing N.C. 50/Benson Road just ahead of her 16-year-old brother when a northbound car struck her at 6:30 a.m., according to State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon.

The accident occurred about two miles south of the Garner town limits.

Two other students were waiting at the stop at J R Drive just feet away, he said.

The bus, which was southbound, had not yet stopped, but its amber lights were flashing as it approached its stop opposite Jimenez’ home, 4433 N.C. 50. Because the bus had not come to a full stop, its mechanical stop arm and flashing red stoplights were not activated, Gordon said.

According to the National Weather Service, it was still dark at 6:30 a.m. Sunrise was at 7:11 a.m.

The car, a maroon 2001 Pontiac Grand Am, was impounded for the state Highway Patrol investigation, but Gordon said no charges are expected to be brought against the driver. He said speed does not appear to have been a factor in the accident.

A Wake County Public Schools news release said the bus was en route to Garner Magnet High School with six other students aboard. A second bus was dispatched to transport those students to school.

A crisis response team also would be available at the high school to provide grief counseling, the release stated, adding that school officials are “saddened by the tragic loss.”

Firefighters and Wake County sheriff’s deputies diverted traffic off N.C. 50 while troopers and emergency medical service staff worked at the accident scene. WCPSS said a second bus took the students from the accident scene to the school as sheriff’s deputies investigated.

Staff writer Ron Gallagher contributed.

Jahner: 919-829-4822

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