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Kids hit in Kearns should have been on school bus

Published: Friday, Feb. 11 2011 1:48 a.m. MST

KEARNS — Granite School District says two elementary school-age siblings hit while crossing a busy street in Kearns should have been on an awaiting school bus rather than walking home.

The 9-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister remain in Primary Children's Medical Center in critical but stable condition with broken bones and head injuries.

The two were attempting to cross the street near 4700 South and 4100 West when they were struck by an SUV. Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said the accident is especially upsetting because the district has made it clear they don't want students walking across that busy street.

Many of the students attending David Gourley Elementary School live close enough to the school that state guidelines say buses aren't required. But the district says because there are several dangerous streets, hundreds of kids are bused anyway to keep them out of danger.

"In this particular instance, for whatever reason, these kids intentionally did not get on their bus. When this accident occurred, their bus was waiting for them at the school," Horsley said.

Horsley says the buses aren't allowed to leave the school when all the students aren't on board unless the driver gets approval from an administrator. The bus the two kids should have been on was waiting after its scheduled leaving time as the accident was being reported to police.

"We do not want kids crossing that road ever for any reason," Horsley said. "It's disheartening to know that we have provided a safe way for them to return to their homes and it was not utilized, and in this particular case a tragic accident occurred."

Many parents in the area are now calling for a crosswalk in the area. Horsley says the parents need to take their concern to the community leaders and local law enforcement since they're the ones who make the decisions over crosswalks, not the school district.

No charges have been filed in the accident.

e-mail: rjeppesen@desnews.com

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