Teen critical after San Carlos Park bus stop hit-and-run

Keisha Bien-Aime

NBC-2

Keisha Bien-Aime

Video from NBC-2

Parents and schools officials are calling for drivers to keep an eye out for students waiting at bus stops after a 16-year-old San Carlos Park girl was struck by a pickup in a hit-and-run early Thursday — the second day of school in Lee County.

Keisha Bien-Aime was in critical condition Thursday evening at Tampa General Hospital, where she was airlifted after the accident near the intersection of Geranium Road and Sanibel Boulevard.

Florida Highway Patrol officials said the South Fort Myers High junior was on her way to the bus stop at the intersection when a red pickup drifted off the road and hit her just before 6:15 a.m.

Michelle Mulder, whose two children are picked up and dropped off at the same stop, said in the future, she'll drive them there and stay until they're on the bus.

"I won't even let them out," she said. "You think because they're older they're going to be OK, but they're not."

A 17-year-old South Fort Myers High classmate who saw the accident said she heard a loud noise and turned to see Keisha rolling down the street and the pickup speeding away. Pieces of the truck littered the area and the girl's cellphone landed in a ditch, said Jayde Connolly, who ran from the bus stop to help and stayed with Keisha until an ambulance took her away.

Hours later, Jayde struggled to understand how someone could drive away after hitting her.

"All she did was try to go to school," Jayde said.

Keisha was suffering from internal bleeding in her head, a broken hip and a back injury, older sister Martine Calixte said Thursday evening.

Lee County schools spokesman Joe Donzelli said in at least the last five years, the district has not had problems at that stop, where about 15 students are picked up and dropped off each day. District employees stopped by the intersection Thursday to evaluate it, he said.

Donzelli said if safety concerns arise, the stop will be changed, but it appears the driver is to blame. He urged drivers to be careful and pay attention.

"It is an issue of a commuter who drove recklessly, who failed to observe the proper vehicle control and caused a tragic situation to occur," he said.

Calixte, who said she was praying for her sister's full recovery, said the area is typically quiet — "too small" for something like this to happen.

"I'm sad because Keisha, she's excited this year to meet with her friends and just be in school," she said. "And I'm sad the person just took off like he hit nobody. It would have been nice to at least say 'I'm sorry.'"

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