Tampa parents ask for safer bus stops following accident

It’s been more than a month since a driver plowed into seven people waiting for a school bus in north Tampa.  No charges have been filed in the case, but people who live in the neighborhood say something needs to be done to make the roadway safer.

Since the accident in early November, Perla Galindo has been too scared to ride the bus.

“Seeing my sister when she was in the hospital was really sad,” the 12-year-old said.

Perla and her little sister were two of the seven people hit by a car while walking to the bus stop.

“She has fractures in her neck, her hand, her leg, her hip.”

Speaking through a translator, their father, Edin Galindo, says 6-year-old Allison was severely hurt in the crash.

Tampa police tell FOX 13 News the 47-year-old man behind the wheel was not impaired and not speeding when he plowed into the group.  According to officials, the driver won’t face criminal charges, but could still be cited.

“I don’t understand for real, because what happened was not an accident to me, it was not an accident,” said Galindo.

The family brought their concerns to a community meeting Wednesday night. About 25 people who live in the area came out to the hour-long event. They had the chance to ask questions about the crash and other safety issues.

“Why can’t we do the routes where children are not crossing streets,” one woman asked.

Parents are worried about drivers not stopping for busses, and their children being able to cross the street safely.

Tampa police officers, officials with the city, and the school district were on hand at the forum.  City council member Luis Viera spearheaded the effort to make sure residents have a voice.

“The objective of tonight was to make sure that people know that we’re here to help and we’re here to listen, especially after such a traumatic acute tragedy,” Viera said.

Plans are already in the works to make the 30-mph speed limit more visible along the nearly two-mile corridor of Bougainvillea Avenue.

Viera says he plans to follow-up and see what can be done about the concerns that were shared at the meeting.