High School Student Struck by Car While Trying to Get to School Bus

The driver of an SUV hit the 17-year-old as he was crossing Montrose Road toward his school bus

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A Montgomery County high school student is seriously hurt after being hit Friday morning by a car that passed a school bus.

The 17-year-old was struck just after 7:15 a.m. while crossing Montrose Road at Bargate Court in Rockville, Montgomery County Police said.

"The initial indication was that the student was within the crosswalk when he was struck and that the school bus lights were either on or in the process of coming on, but we have to confirm all that as part of the investigation," Montgomery County Police spokesman Capt. Tom Jordan said.

After two Montgomery County Public Schools students were hit in pedestrian accidents in less than 24 hours, a county councilman calls for safer roads. Shomari Stone reports.

The teen was struck by a Jeep Renegade SUV and was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. He is a 12th-grader at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, the principal said in a note to families.

The driver of the Jeep, a 61-year-old Rockville man, remained on the scene.

Heather O'Donnell, who lives nearby, said cars often fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk on Montrose Road at Bargate Court. "I've been close to being hit before," she said.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 240-773-6620.

The crash came hours after a 9-year-old girl was fatally struck by her school bus Thursday afternoon. The girl was struck in Bethesda after getting off her bus, as the bus turned a corner. She attended Bradley Hills Elementary School, where grief counselors were trying to help students and staff cope with their loss Friday.

"I can’t imagine how tragic this is for the family," Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice said.

Rice, who chairs the education committee, is scheduling a school bus safety work for police and Montgomery County Public Schools.

"All in all, we have to be more cautious as a community looking out for our children," he said, "making sure we're doing everything that we can to insure that our surroundings are safe for our kids."

Earlier this week, a 4-year-old was briefly dragged by a school bus in Glen Arm, Maryland, after her backpack got caught in its door. She was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.

Maryland state legislators will propose a new series of bills, in the wake of this week’s school pedestrian accidents, the News4 I-Team learned.

One measure that’ll be officially offered when the legislature reconvenes in Annapolis next month will require a funding boost for transportation safety projects near schools and senior centers. The fund would include money collected in fines from drivers who illegally drive through crosswalks.  

Meanwhile, the chair of the Montgomery County Council Education Committee said he’s organizing a public hearing when the Council returns in January to formally discuss this week’s accidents and possible school zone safety upgrades.

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