The man charged with hitting two children at a school bus stop in Wilson County on Thursday and then driving away is in the country illegally, the State Highway Patrol says.
Marcus Santiaga Bautista was charged with several crimes after troopers say he hit a boy and girl as they tried to board a bus on Rock Ridge Sims Road, south of Sims, on Thursday morning. The Highway Patrol and the Wilson County Sheriff's Office later confirmed with federal immigration officials that Bautista is a fugitive with an outstanding deportation warrant, according to Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Jeff Gordon.
Bautista, 27, is a native of Mexico, and the deportation warrant is the result of his failing to attend an immigration hearing in South Carolina, Gordon said.
The children, German Arroyo-Correa, 10, and his sister Areli Arroyo-Correa, 5, were taken to WakeMed in Raleigh, where they were in serious condition Thursday.
Bautista was charged with one felony count each of hit and run and passing a stopped school bus, as well as misdemeanor counts of no operators license, failure to register a motor vehicle and displaying a fictitious registration, Gordon said. Bautista and his Ford Explorer were found about an hour after he hit the children, parked behind a tobacco barn about a mile from the accident scene, Gordon said.
Bautista’s bail was initially set at $30,000. At his first court appearance in Wilson County on Friday morning, his bail was increased to $1,002,000.