Child hit by car in Garden City, police investigating

Investigation underway after child hit by car
Published: Oct. 16, 2017 at 7:05 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2017 at 5:54 AM EDT
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GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) - The Garden City Police Department started an investigation Friday after a child was hit by a car while waiting for her school bus in the Savannah Pines Mobile Home Community.

Police said another resident hit the child around 6:30 a.m.

"The driver of the vehicle apparently did not see the child there," Garden Police Sgt. Benji Selph said. "The child was a very small child. At that point, the vehicle did strike the child causing injuries."

Pamela Blanton is a family friend and lives near the bus stop where the car hit the child. She said Monday the 13-year-old girl is still recovering.

"You never want to hear this happening to any child," Blanton said. "I knew her since she was a little baby, and it's really hard. Family is just beside themselves. The child is going to have lifelong injuries, lifelong problems. She's having to have a steel rod put in her back, a plastic hip... These are things you give to someone who's 60, 65 years old, not a child, you know? She's just starting life, you know, and she deserves so much better."

Sgt. Selph said the department doesn't respond to these kind of incidents often.

"We have had reports of close calls with children waiting on buses, but it's just not an everyday occurrence, thankfully," he said.

With almost 300 homes in the park and lots of kids who live there, Blanton said this is hard on everyone.

"This whole trailer park, I mean, everyone here is just beside themselves, you know?" she said. "We look out for each other's kids. We love each other's kids. We take care of each other's kids."

Sgt. Selph said it was still dark when the car hit the child, which should be a reminder for all drivers to be extra careful in the morning.

"It was early morning, he said. "It was still dark, which is a common time. Unfortunately, some of the buses run really early here in the area depending on where the children go to school. So drivers, they have to be conscious that, even though they may not see them, there's always that possibility there's a child or even a large group of children waiting on buses. So you've got to take that extra care. Take your time in the morning. Everybody, I know, is in a hurry to get to work or get here or get there. Just take that extra time to be a little bit more observant, especially in school times.

Moving forward, Blanton said she'd like better lighting on the streets in the mobile home park, school start times pushed back to avoid buses picking up students in the dark or students picked up in front of their homes to prevent anything like this from happening again.

"I want better lighting, more cameras, and if it's possible, I would like to see our schools start later in the day," she said. "And if need to, the buses need to pick every child up within each cul-de-sac, not have different, spread out bus stops. I think that we should all be able to put our children right in front of our cul-de-sacs."

Sgt. Selph said officers are still investigating, so he doesn't know if the driver will face charges or not. He said officers will gather all the facts before deciding.

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