A 7 year old boy hit by a pickup truck while walking to his school bus Thursday morning on St. Paul’s West Side is in critical condition at a hospital.
Police said the boy was hit while crossing S. Robert Street at Wood Street about 6:30 a.m. He was in a crosswalk, and a stopped school bus had its lights flashing and stop arm out when the driver struck the boy, police spokesman Steve Linders said.
His two siblings who were crossing the street with the boy were not hurt, Linders said.
The bus operated by Pride Transportation Services was headed north on Robert Street when it stopped at the corner to pick up the students. It was a route headed to Higher Ground Academy, a college preparatory St. Paul charter school serving students in kindergarten through grade 12, a spokesman for the bus company said.
The pickup truck driver was heading south on Robert Street when the crash occurred. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police, Linders said.
Alcohol did not appear to have been a factor, he added.
Portions of Robert Street between Plato Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Street remained closed while the investigation continued.
This was the second student in Minnesota to be hit while boarding a school bus in recent weeks. An Edina High School student was injured but survived when she was hit Jan. 23 on France Avenue. In that case, a motorist allegedly drove onto the shoulder on the right side of the bus and struck the student getting on the bus, police said.
Police identified the vehicle as a Chevrolet Malibu or Cruze, but on Wednesday said they had no other updates as the search for the driver continued.
Thursday’s incident comes as state lawmakers are considering a proposal to devote $50,000 to educate drivers about the rules about stopping for school buses. A bill sponsored by Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Madison Lake, would direct the state’s Department of Public Safety to raise awareness of the need to stop when bus signs are extended and alert people of the penalties for failing to stop.