WILLOWICK, Ohio — An 18-year-old woman who is a senior at an area high school turned herself in to police in Willowick for striking two children as they got off the school bus Monday afternoon.
The woman admitted that she hit the two children, panicked and fled the scene, Willowick officials said. She was brought into the Willowick Police station of her own accord with her attorney and her mother. She told police that she had received a call from work and was in a hurry when the incident occurred.
"She thought the kids were done crossing, and a couple other kids appeared out of nowhere," said Chief Brian Turner. "She realized she hit them; she basically panicked, got scared, and she decided to take off."
The woman has no driving record and no criminal history, officials said.
Officials will not be releasing her name until charges are filed Wednesday in Willoughby Municipal Court. She is expected to be charged for failure to stop for an accident, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable with a maximum sentence of six months and a $1,000 fine. She will receive traffic charges for driving left of center, a minor misdemeanor; passing a stopped school bus, an unclassified misdemeanor; and reckless operation, a minor misdemeanor.
The driver was released by police Tuesday. Officials said she was apologetic and scared about what she did. She will be back in court on May 30 at 8:15 a.m.
The condition of the two students is not known at this time; officials said Monday that they were transported to the hospital after being struck by the car. They were released and sent home with their families Monday evening, according to Willoughby-Eastlake Schools.
At about 3 p.m., the two juveniles, who are in elementary school, were struck as they exited the bus on East 300th Street and Barjode Road, according to authorities. Authorities said the bus did have its "STOP" arm extended. The vehicle then left the area on Forestgrove Road toward the Euclid area. The bus driver tried to stop the car but was unsuccessful.