Teen hit by a car warns drivers to slow down
A TEENAGE girl who was hit by a car after hopping off her school bus last year says kids - no matter what age - should be made aware of what can happen on the road.
As the school routine gets into full swing this week, Toowoomba Maurice Blackburn lawyer Bianca O'Neill says courts have established that drivers have more responsibility when driving near schools and buses, which means motorists need to be more alert to pedestrians, especially school children.
State government figures show 268 pedestrians have been involved in an accident since 2001 in the Toowoomba area.
Ms O'Neill also said research had shown only 60% of people hit by a car travelling 40kmh are expected to live.
Queensland girl Kelsey Hannah was one of the lucky ones.
In July last year, the 13-year-old Sunshine Coast girl hopped off the bus and crossed the residential road towards her house when she was hit by a car.
"I got off the bus and walked across the road and I didn't see the car," she said. "That's pretty much what I remember."
Kelsey, now 14, fractured the front and back of her pelvis and was grazed and bruised and had concussion.
Her mum, Donna Hannah, was inside the house having a coffee when she heard Kelsey get hit.
She initially thought someone had hit an animal and went outside - to find Kelsey lying on the road with blood on her face.
Ms Hannah said there was no indication the car was speeding and there was also no indication that it had slowed down to pass the bus.
Kelsey's message to drivers was to slow down around buses and make kids aware of what can happen.
"People say that life is short and you don't expect anything like that to happen to you," she said.
Since being hit, Kelsey has undergone extensive physiotherapy and is back dancing. She admits she looks around "a lot" when crossing the road.
"We're really blessed Kelsey's alive," Ms Hannah said. "I continue to thank our lucky stars that she got out of it with the injuries she had because it could have been so much worse."
The family is currently taking civil action against the driver.
Ms O'Neill said her company had acted for devastated families dealing with consequences of road accidents.
She said simple road accidents have the potential of causing catastrophic injury to kids.