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Student catching bus struck by vehicle

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

A 10-year-old student at Church Street Elementary School remains in critical condition at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, after being struck by a vehicle heading northbound on Ga. Highway 85 in Riverdale.

The boy, according to Clayton County police, was attempting to board a C-TRAN bus from the opposite side of the street, en route to school.

According to Clayton County Police Department spokesperson, Lt. Tina Daniel, Artavius Hall was struck by a white, 2005 Chrysler 300 near the crossing of Commerce Circle and Ga. Highway 85 at approximately 6:50 a.m., Wednesday.

Daniel said Hall and his younger brother had crossed the southbound lane of Ga. Highway 85 and were attempting to cross the northbound lane from the median.

"He and his brother were crossing [Ga.] Highway 85 in front of New Macedonia [Baptist] Church ...," Daniel said. "I'm not sure why they were trying to catch the C-TRAN bus, but they were. One sibling made it across the street, another [Hall] was hit by a vehicle. Because it was dark outside still, all the witnesses there said they didn't even see him."

Daniel said drivers in the northbound lane of Ga. Highway 85 had the green light, and that Hall was wearing a dark jacket, with a hood, at the time of the accident.

"The student's vision was obstructed ... so, it appears he didn't see the vehicle," she said. The younger brother made it across Ga. Highway 85 with no injuries, according to Daniel.

On Wednesday, Daniel could not confirm the age of the younger brother, whose name was not released. She said both Hall and his brother are students at Church Street Elementary.

According to Daniel, the driver of the vehicle stayed with Hall until authorities arrived on the scene. She said Hall was unable to be lifted from the scene by helicopter, due to snowy weather conditions early Wednesday morning, and that he was driven by ambulance to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

"He was unresponsive at the time he left the scene, possibly in a coma," Daniel said.

Church Street Elementary School Principal Debra Smith said Wednesday that the school's staff and student body were "doing as well as can be expected." She said counselors will be speaking to Hall's classmates, and that staff members will stress the importance of bus safety to the students in the coming days.

"We're going to have a counseling team talk to his classmates about what's happened," Smith said. "They'll talk to his friends and those close to him. We don't want the crisis to be a distraction to learning. We're going to talk to the [other] students about safety as a whole.

"He's in critical condition, and family is doing as well as can be expected ... he needs our prayers right now," she added.

As of Wednesday evening, Hall remained in critical condition at the hospital, according to Daniel. She said no charges are being filed against the driver of the vehicle that struck Hall.