Lafayette Parish student hit while boarding school bus

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A high school girl was hit by a pickup truck while crossing the road to get on her school bus in Lafayette Parish.

The driver of the truck told police he didn’t realize the flashing lights were from a stopped school bus.

The accident happened here on Riceland Road, also known as LA Highway 719, around 6:15 Wednesday morning. A 15 year old Acadiana High School student was struck while trying to get on the bus.

“As this gentleman was traveling into our community, he doesn’t even know this community or know there were houses there,” said Duson Police Chief Kip Judice. “He thought he was in a rural area of the parish.”

Investigators say the driver of a pickup truck hit the teenage girl as she was crossing the road to board the bus. Judice says the driver thought the flashing lights he saw were from a utility crew, not a school bus.

“With all of the other diversions going on in our community, utility crews working, construction crews on the side of the road, etc., the man’s attention was diverted away from the road he was driving on, and he bumped a child,” said Judice.

There were other students on the bus, as well as the bus driver, who witnessed the accident. Police will review the video footage from the bus to see what exactly happened.

“We are in the process of downloading and reviewing the video. That’s where we will make our final determination, in terms of what charges apply, if any, to the driver of that vehicle.”

Police say the girl was taken to Women’s and Children’s Hospital to be evaluated for possible injuries. It looks like she’s going to be ok.

The driver of the truck is 30 years old. He’s from Branch, in Acadia Parish. His name has not been released. Police say he will likely be charged with failure to stop for a school bus.

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