Prospect Hill, NC – A Caswell County middle school student sustained serious injuries Wednesday morning when he was struck by a car while crossing the road to get on his school bus.
According to Trooper Christopher Knox, the State Highway Patrol was dispatched at 6:15 a.m. to the incident, on N.C. 86 near Main Street in Prospect Hill,south of Yanceyville and about a mile north of the Orange County line.
A school bus traveling south on N.C. 86 had come to a stop with its lights and stop arm activated for a 13-year-old N.L. Dillard Middle School student
.“He attempted to cross the roadway to load onto the bus, and at that time the vehicle traveling northbound on N.C. 86 failed to stop for the bus and struck the young man,” Knox said.
Investigators believe the white 2002 Nissan car displaying a Mississippi license plate was traveling around 55 miles per hour, which was the posted speed limit in that area.
Knox said the student was taken by helicopter from the scene to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, where he is being treated for “serious injuries but nothing life-threatening.”
According to Knox, evidence found at the scene — including a red side mirror and windshield damage — assisted troopers and Caswell County deputies in searching for a suspect vehicle as they canvassed area businesses.
Deputies eventually located a white vehicle with a red side mirrors — one of which was missing — at a local solar farm, where they were able to speak with the driver and “determine he was involved.”
Angel De Jesus Calderas-Marroquin, 33, of Durham, was subsequently charged with felony hit and run, felony passing a stopped school bus, failing to report a collision and no operator’s license.
Knox said officials “believe he was employed in that area or at that business.” SHP was unsure at exactly what time Calderas-Marroquin was located, but Knox said he received a message around10:15 a.m. indicating the suspect vehicle had been found.
Calderas-Marroquin was taken to the Caswell County jail, where he is being held under a $500,000bond.
Knox reported that Calderas-Marroquin did not attempt to stop after striking the boy, and made a statement to investigators “that he possibly fell asleep” and thought he had hit an animal.
Brock Womble, superintendent of Caswell County Schools, read a statement Wednesday afternoon about the incident.
“Our thoughts are with the student and their family,” Womble said as part of the statement.“Counselors are in place to assist in the needs of our students and staff.”
Womble said counselors were not only available at N.L. Dillard Middle School, but also on-call for other schools around the county.