A child was struck and seriously injured when stepping off a school bus in Pensacola Tuesday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The Florida Highway Patrol said it was a hit-and-run and occurred on Massachusetts Avenue near Preservation Boulevard. An arrest was made.
The victim, 12-year-old Maria Alexandra Wethington, was being treated for serious injuries after being hit by a vehicle while walking across the roadway after getting off a school bus, according to an FHP news release.
The news release provides the following additional details:
One witness, was able to give a very detailed physical description of the suspect, and it was determined that the school bus was stopped facing westbound and the suspect vehicle was traveling eastbound. The driver failed to observe the school bus stopped with all of its warning lights activated, FHP said.
The child walked into the eastbound lanes where the accident occurred. The driver then fled the scene before troopers arrived, FHP said.
The vehicle was described as a white Chevrolet HHR. Troopers were notified by dispatch that a person wishing to remain anonymous on the phone was wanting to provide information on the whereabouts of a possible vehicle. The tip led trooper’s to the Walmart parking lot on Mobile Highway, where troopers observed a white Chevrolet HHR parked in front of Subway that was unattended.
Troopers observed damage to the right front corner of the vehicle that still had physical evidence from the collision, FHP said. It appeared to have black scuff marks on the bumper which resembled the black velvet shoes the victim was wearing, FHP said.
Troopers walked the area and observed a person matching the description that witnesses provided at the scene. The suspect was located ordering Chinese takeout and was identified as Laurel Peyton Lewis, 29, of Foley, Alabama, FHP said.
Lewis was detained for questioning. During the course of the investigation it was determined that the vehicle thought to be the hit-and-run vehicle was in fact registered to Lewis.
During questioning Lewis admitted to striking the child in the roadway and leaving the scene because she was scared, FHP said.
Lewis was transported to the Escambia County jail without further incident, FHP said. She was charged with leaving the scene of an accident ibvolving serious bodily injury and failure to stop for a school bus involving injury.
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