State troopers have filed several charges against a 27-year-old driver who they say struck two children who were attempting to cross the road to board their school bus and then drove away.
Marcus Santiaga Bautista has been charged with one felony count each of hit and run and passing a stopped school bus, said Lt. Jeff Gordon, a State Highway Patrol spokesman.
Bautista, of Sims, also has been charged with misdemeanor counts of no operators license, failure to register a motor vehicle, and displaying a fictitious registration, Gordon said.
The children, German Arroyo-Correa, 10, and his sister Areli Arroyo-Correa, 5, of 7236 Rock Ridge Sims Road, south of Sims, were transported to WakeMed in Raleigh, where they are in serious condition, Gordon reported.
The accident happened at about 6:50 a.m. near the children’s home on Rock Ridge Sims Road.
Troopers say that a Rock Ridge Elementary school bus was traveling north on Rock Ridge Sims Road when the driver activated the vehicle’s lights and stop sign before coming to a stop to pick up the boy and girl.
When children began crossing the road to board the bus, they were both hit by a Ford Explorer traveling south on Rock Ridge Sims Road, Gordon said. Investigators gathered “numerous pieces of debris” from the Explorer, he said.
Law officers found Bautista and the Ford Explorer about an hour later parked behind a tobacco barn, about a mile from the accident scene. Investigators say that alcohol or the weather were not factors in the collision, Gordon said.
Bautista remained in the Wilson County jail Thursday afternoon in lieu of $30,000 bail, Gordon said.