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Woman not hurt badly when hit by bus

A 63-year-old Ann Arbor woman escaped serious injury when she was struck by a school bus. Fortunately, she will live to tell the cautionary tale of the importance of staying alert when school buses are on the road to avoid a pedestrian accident.

From 1998 to 2008, according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 267 pedestrians were killed in school transportation-related accidents. Those figures include vehicles identified as traditional school buses and non-school buses being used to transport students.

Buses pose an extra risk to pedestrians who must share both city and residential streets with the vehicles. Pedestrians often aren't prepared for the frequent stops and starts a bus makes, and drivers sometimes cannot see those on foot because of blind spots in the bus.

In the case of the Ann Arbor woman, a driver from Central Academy hit the woman while turning left from Stone School Road onto Birch Hollow Drive. The accident occurred just before 6 p.m. under dark skies.

The woman had walked between a car and the bus before being struck. The bus had just started again after dropping off a student and was traveling about 10 mph.

She was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital by ambulance in stable condition.

At the time of the accident, the bus was taking home students who had stayed late for an after-school activity. Approximately 35 children in elementary and middle school were on board.

Police ticketed the driver. The investigation continues, and no immediate decision had been made as to whether the driver would continue in his job.

Ann Arbor Journal "ANN ARBOR: School bus hits 63-year-old woman Tuesday," Ben Baird, Dec. 15, 2011

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