PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A little girl, a second grader at Pittsburgh Arlington Pre-K-8, is being treated at UPMC Children’s Hospital after she was struck by a school van as she walked home from school on Thursday afternoon.
It happened along Arlington Avenue.
Neighbors said the child’s mother, who was walking up Arlington Avenue to meet her daughter, looked on horrified as she saw the accident.
“I was pretty much in shock,” said Luis Rodriguez, a witness. “I came down here immediately to see what I could do and then I brought a blanket and try to do everything I can to help the girl. There ain’t too much I can do; she was in very critical condition, I can tell you that.”
Rodriguez says he saw the mother of the girl yelling at the van driver after the incident.
“The mother said that she seen the driver texting on the phone and she came off the road and hit her daughter up on the sidewalk and she was yelling at the woman, ‘What did you do?’” he said.
Pittsburgh Police, however, have not confirmed if the driver was on the phone, or how fast she may have been going when the 7-year old girl was hit.
The speed limit on the road is posted at 25 miles per hour.
Holding back tears, Rodriguez said the girl’s leg was swollen and she was bruised all over.
Another neighbor, Shakina Luster, said, “I was really shaken up because [the accident] happened in front of me. I feel bad for the kid.”
Ebony Pugh, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Public School District, told KDKA-TV News that counselors will be at the Arlington School on Friday. They will be available for both staff and students to talk with if they feel it’s necessary.
Police said while the child’s injuries were serious; they were not believed to be life-threatening. She suffered a broken femur, broken pelvis and severe head trauma and remains in critical condition.
Meanwhile, police are working to get a search warrant for the van driver’s phone.
Arlington Avenue had to be blocked off this afternoon while authorities investigated. Port Authority buses were also rerouted around the area.