LANCASTER COUNTY, N.C. — A 6-year-old girl who was hit by a pickup truck while waiting for a school bus in Lancaster County Friday morning has died at the hospital, the county’s coroner said.
The collision happened around 6:30 a.m. on Kershaw Camden Highway, near the Pleasant Hill area of Lancaster County.
“I miss my baby. I miss her so much," said Rubin Bend, the little girl’s stepfather.
Troopers said a 39-year-old woman driving a pickup truck hit Jerrnia Horne while she was waiting for the bus with her grandmother. Authorities said the child walked out into the street and was hit.
The child’s grandmother, Beatrice Mayson, told Channel 9 she was holding the girl’s hand when she was hit by the truck.
“We were on the sidewalk. Then, I saw the black truck coming," Mayson said. “I tried calling her, ‘Jerrnia! Jerrnia!’ (but) I can’t hear no voice.”
EMS crews performed CPR on Jerrnia before taking her to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, where she was treated for serious injuries but died later that night.
“I walked across there and talked to the little girl’s sister,” a neighbor said. “She said my little sister got run over. She was crying.”
The little girl attended Heath Springs Elementary and school officials told Channel 9′s South Carolina bureau reporter Greg Suskin she waited for the bus at that location every morning with a parent or grandparent.
“She was always happy. If we had a bad day, she would be around to light the day up,” said Bend.
STATEMENT FROM LANCASTER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT:
"Sad News to Report:
We had a child struck by a vehicle this morning while waiting on the bus on 521 in the Pleasant Hill Community. The child was waiting with a grandmother and the bus had not arrived at the location yet when the accident occurred.
The child was taken to a Charlotte area hospital and the SC Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation. We have sent school personnel to the hospital and additional counselors to Heath Springs Elementary. We are limited in the amount of information that can be released at this time but please keep the child and all others involved with this accident in your thoughts and prayers."
The school district went back and looked at video from other days and spoke with the bus driver, who said the family usually waited for the bus and once it arrives, then crossed the street to meet it.
Friday morning, they were at the bus stop about seven minutes before the bus arrived and decided to cross the street earlier than they usually do, authorities said.
Officials said they sent school staff to the hospital and additional counselors to the elementary school.
“Everything we do as school officials is first and foremost to take care of children and when we see a child get hurt in the community for whatever reason, I think it everybody hurts,” School Safety Director Bryan Vaughn said. “This is one of the darkest days that you can have as a school employee.”
Authorities have not said if the driver will face any charges.
“I want justice for my baby girl. I want justice for my baby girl. She didn’t deserve this,” said Jerrnia’s mother, Patricia Mayson.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.
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