On August 18, a 6-year-old girl died in Raleigh from the personal injuries she suffered when she was struck by a sport utility vehicle driven by an 83-year-old woman as she was exiting her school bus.
According to the accident report from the Raleigh Police Department, Ashley E. Ramos-Hernandez, a student at year-round Green Elementary School, died after being struck at approximately 1:30 p.m. near North Hills and Hillock drives.
Police charged the SUV’s driver, Geraldine Baron Deitz, with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and passing a stopped school bus, according to police spokesman Jim Sughrue.
Wake County schools spokesman Bill Poston said the bus was traveling from Green Elementary at Six Forks and Millbrook roads. Deitz, also a Raleigh resident, was traveling at about 20 mph in a 2000 Jeep at the time, according to investigators.
Deitz informed police that she saw the stopped school bus facing west on North Hills Drive. She said she initially stopped and waited for the bus to turn south on Hillock Driver. However, she said that when the bus did not turn, she continued east on North Hills when she heard a “thud.” She stopped after realizing she had struck a child.
Deitz claims the bus’ signals and markers had not been activated. However, witnesses say that all of the signals and markers had been properly activated.
According to Thomas Ernest Waters, a Raleigh general contractor who was in the vehicle behind Deitz said that the lights were on and the stop sign was out to the side and the bus had stopped to allow children to exit. He said Deitz slowed down, but did not stop, hitting and rolling over the child.
Waters says he called 911 as he exited his truck to see if he could do anything to help the child. He remained at the scene until emergency workers rushed Ramos-Hernandez to the hospital. He learned of the child’s death upon his return home from work.