Children hurt in bus stop accident face long road to recovery
Families face physical, emotional and financial challenges.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- WDRB News has learned the identity of a third child injured Thursday when an SUV slammed into a group of kids waiting at a bus stop.
Phillip Neal, III is 8 years old and attends Engelhard Elementary.
All three children are recovering at Kosair Children's Hospital, but the scars will be with them and their families long after they leave the hospital.
“I was was just shocked.”
That was Lakeisha Johnson's first reaction when she heard what happened to two of her children.
Jaconiah Fields, 10 and Vanessa Levros, 9, were seriously hurt on Thursday when an SUV failed to stop for a school bus and plowed into a group of children.
“I'm an emotional mess. It's hard. I'm trying to keep it together,” Johnson told WDRB News.
Jaconiah suffered a broken leg. Vanessa has more serious head injuries.
“She's pretty feisty. She's in a medically induced coma, but she's fighting through that. She's wiggling and moving. They're doing everything they can to keep her stabilized,” said family friend Lanita Grant.
But the recovery for the family goes beyond the injuries.
"It's hard. I'm trying to keep it together because I got my nieces, my nephews, and my other kids watching me. So, it's going to be a long road to recovery for our whole family," said Johnson.
Johnson says the children do have medical insurance.
But the single mother of five is concerned she soon may not have a job, since she's been denied an extended leave of absence.
“My job is not important over my kids. I would rather be there for my kids because they need me right now,” she said.
Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page.
“None of us are rich. But every two dollars, five dollars, will go a long ways,” said Grant.
The driver of the SUV is also recovering from his injuries. He is facing charges of not having insurance or registration.
The family chooses its words carefully when asked if it has a message for the driver.
“There's always room on forgiveness. But right now, our family needs to focus more on the kids that were hurt. We feel sorry that he was hurt as well, but we have children to think about,” said Johnson’s twin sister Tamika Mayes.
The family of the third child hurt in the accident, Phillip Neal, III, says he suffered a shattered leg, internal injuries and a concussion.
A friend of the family also created a GoFundMe for Phillip to help cover medical expenses.
“I want him to know that we're here for him. If he ever needs to talk about anything, all he has to do is just call me, and I'll be right there,” said Johnson.
For more information about the GoFundMe page or other ways to help Lakeisha Johnson’s family, you can call Lanita Grant at (502) 744-9772.
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