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Hinesville student injured in hit-and-run
4-year-old struck while exiting bus
WEB 0415 Hit and run
Hinesville Traffic Accident Investigators Richard Boucher (standing) and Cpl. Les Patton measure the road where a 4-year-old pre-K student was struck by a vehicle. - photo by Lewis Levine

A 4-year-old Liberty County preschool student was struck and injured Thursday afternoon while crossing a Hinesville street after exiting his school bus.

The child, whose parents requested he not be identified, got off the school bus around 2:45 p.m. at the intersection of Ann and Waterfield drives in the Waterfield subdivision, Hinesville Police Department Traffic Accident Investigator Lt. Max McLendon said in a telephone interview Friday.

McLendon said the child was in the center of Waterfield Drive when a vehicle heading in the direction of Airport Road struck the boy.

The child’s parents, Felix and Dahiana Rivas, said their son was released Friday morning from Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where he was treated for facial injuries, three broken teeth and a fractured right wrist.  Dahiana Rivas said she was leaving her home to meet her son when the accident occurred.  Felix Rivas said his wife watched in horror as the youngster was

“She watched as our baby boy was struck and laying on the ground, bleeding from his face. And the driver stopped, got out of the (vehicle) and said, ‘I didn’t see him,’ got back into the vehicle and drove off,” said Rivas, who is urging the driver to go to police. “Turn yourself in. I understand accidents happen, but you should have stayed there and taken responsibility for your actions.”

Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said the student is enrolled at the Liberty County Pre-K Center.

“It’s one of our old buses, and it was a substitute driver, so it’s not one that has a camera on it,” Scherer said. “But it’s my understanding that he and some other kids had gotten off the bus, and as he was (crossing) the street ... the van hit him and ran.”

“It should serve as a reminder for people to be careful when kids are getting on and off of buses,” Scherer said. “I’m glad he’s as OK as he is — we’re very relieved that the injuries were not more serious.”

The driver and the make of the vehicle remain unidentified, and McLendon asks that those who have information related to the incident contact HPD at 368-8211 or call 911.

Cpl. Les Patton of the Hinesville Police Department’s Traffic Accident Investigation Unit is the lead investigator on the case.

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