15-year-old First Coast High student walking to bus stop hit by SUV

FHP says Jacksonville student hospitalized with life-threatening injuries

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter, Ashley Harding - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A First Coast High School student was seriously injured Tuesday morning when he was struck by an SUV while crossing Dunn Avenue.

Michael Chaco, 15, was crossing the five-lane street to his bus stop at 6:40 a.m. when he was struck by a Jeep Cherokee on Dunn at Irma Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville, where he was last listed in critical condition.

His mother told News4Jax that Michael suffered several broken bones, a fractured skull and brain bleeding. She said he was sedated at the hospital and was able to squeeze her hand. 

According to the FHP report, the 29-year-old driver of the SUV pulled over immediately, and she and a passenger tried to render aid. Another student who witnessed the crash was also interviewed by troopers.

Michael's grandmother said the area where he was hit is not well lit and children shouldn't be walking to their bus stops in the dark on such a busy road. Michael lives less than half a mile from his bus stop.

Marcus Williams, the victim's neighbor, told News4Jax that Michael is the oldest of three children and he sees him every day doing chores around the house.

"I know his family. I know his mother. Just an all-around kid," Williams said. "I have a son myself and I can only imagine what the mother is going through, and I pray for the family."

He hopes everyone, including drivers and pedestrians, will pay more attention.

"It’s unfortunate that something like that occurred. You know, Dunn Avenue is very busy. A lot of drivers need to be alert and the kids need to be alert. Stay on the sidewalks, cross on the crosswalks, you know, that type of thing," Williams said.

All westbound lanes were blocked during the investigation. Officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office assisted with routing traffic around the crash, allowing two-way traffic until the investigation was completed about 9 a.m.

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