Winter Haven Student Injured in a Pedestrian Accident While Trying to Board Her Bus
A 16-year-old high school student is on the road to recovery today after she was struck by a car on January 7th, 2021, while attempting to board her school bus. According to preliminary collision reports from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the pedestrian accident happened along the westbound lane of Avenue G NW near 22nd Street in Winter Haven at approximately 6:20 a.m.
It was early Thursday morning when officers and first responders with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the scene of a car vs. pedestrian accident which had occurred near a school bus stop along the western lane of Avenue G NW close to 22nd Street. Upon their arrival, they found that 16-year-old Patrice Riettie had been struck by an oncoming vehicle while she was trying to board her bus to a local Winter Haven high school.
Witness statements retrieved at the crash site indicate that the teenager was approaching the bus on foot and the bus itself was stopped within the properly designated student pickup zone in the western lane of Avenue G NW. It is important to note that all of the school bus safety features were engaged & fully-illuminated, including the STOP arm used to dictate to drivers that they should expect student pedestrians in the vicinity of the bus. Unfortunately, 18-year-old Matthew Meador did not see these multiple warning signs due to the dangerous combination of a fogged up windshield and inoperable street lighting, and he crashed his Toyota Scion into 16-year-old Riettie.
Polk County emergency medical teams quickly arrived to assist the injured young victim, thanks in part to the speedy response of the bus driver, who had immediately activated the vehicle’s automated emergency service system, informed supervisors of the incident, and proceeded to attend to the high schooler until further professional help was available. The 16-year-old was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital where she is being treated for minor cuts, scrapes, and bruising, as well as a small brain bleed that is being monitored. She is expected to make a full recovery.
The 18-year-old-driver, Matthew Meador, remained at the accident site after the collision and was said to be in full cooperation with Polk County investigators. He did not sustain any injuries in the accident, although it is unclear at this time if he will face any charges.
- Winter Haven student is recovering after being hit by a car en route to bus stop
- Car hits 16-year-old Polk County student who was walking to school bus, deputies say
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.