Radcliff driver arrested after crashing into 13-year-old girl as she boarded school bus
Police say the school bus was stopped and had its lights flashing.
RADCLIFF, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hill Street is a busy road that connects to Radcliff's main drag. There are also a lot of bus stops along the way.
But Thursday morning, one pick-up spot turned traumatic.
"We was sitting in the car, my nephew was fixing to get on the bus with her, and all of the sudden, you heard the impact," said Shaun Dean, who witnessed the crash.
Dean and William Smith watched in horror as a 13-year-old girl was hit by a Jeep.
"Seeing her go through the air about 10 feet is very horrific," Smith said.
The two rushed to her aide. Smith is a volunteer firefighter.
"It could've killed her," he said.
It didn't, but her injuries were so serious she was flown by medical helicopter to Norton Children's Hospital. The driver of the Jeep, 20-year-old Cristian Cruz, allegedly ignored the bus' stop sign and flashing lights.
"He didn't even care," Smith said. "He didn't even get out and check on her and see how she was doing or anything."
Police said Cruz used fatigue, after a long night shift at Walmart, as an excuse for hitting the girl. Now he's in the Hardin County jail with wanton endangerment and assault charges pending. The charges could land Cruz behind bars for years.
"The least is a D felony, one to five in prison, and so yes, it's very serious offenses," said Radcliff Police Capt. Willie Wells.
Wells hopes the unfortunate bus stop incident serves as a wake up call to every morning driver.
"I think common sense comes into play," Well said. "Just pay attention, especially in the early morning hours, when school buses are loading and unloading."
Dean and Smith are still trying to shake what they witnessed while also wishing the teen victim a speedy recovery.
"Praying for her, and hope she gets well," Smith said.
Police say the girl's injuries are not life-threatening. There's no indication Cruz was driving impaired, but blood test results are still being completed.
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