An 8-year-old girl was hit by a pickup truck after getting off a school bus Tuesday afternoon in Ponte Vedra Beach, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
The Ocean Palms Elementary School student, Grace Barmad, was struck on Roscoe Boulevard between Landrum Lane about 3:20 p.m. She was taken to Wolfson Children's Hospital in serious but stable condition. Her condition was upgraded Wednesday to good.
Troopers said a white Chevy S-10 pickup truck driven by 17-year-old Jason King was traveling southbound on County Road 210A. They said the school bus was stopped in the northbound lane of CR 210A with its stop signs and red lights activated. Troopers said the pickup continued to travel southbound and failed to stop as the children were exiting the school bus.
Troopers said the girl tried to cross CR 210A while the bus was stopped, and the left quarter panel of the pickup struck her as she tried to cross the road.
"The child got off the bus and then started to cross the road, and then was struck by a vehicle," said Joe Purvis, director of transportation for St. Johns County.
Troopers said King stopped at the scene. He was charged with passing a stopped school bus.
"As with any accident, we're going to walk back through anything. We'll always examine any procedures we have with a stop location or procedures in our routing, just to make sure that if there is something that we can do better or something that should be changed we do that," said Purvis.
The bus driver is on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
"It's obviously very unsettling for a driver, you know, to see something like that occur," said Purvis. "It's a regular stop that we use with the normal procedures that the bus driver would use, you know, the bus' red lights flashing and then at the top end the stop arms that come out on the side."
According to FHP reports, King is facing charges for passing a stopped school bus.