Mom advocates for Lee County bus stop changes after daughter hit by car

A mother fights to protect her daughter and four kids who must wait for their school bus on the sides of busy roads. The mom says a bus stop is to blame for her daughter’s traumatic brain injury.

Marissa Perez had her whole life ahead of her. Then, three months later, her mother, Amanda, is holding her daughter’s hand as she clings to life.

Marissa was on her way to the bus stop along Sunshine Blvd. in September 2017. A man who was late for work, lost control of his car and propelled into her. That man was issued a ticket while Amanda got the scare of her life.

Marissa Perez lays in bed as her mother, Amanda, rubs her head. (Credit: WINK News)
Marissa Perez lays in bed as her mother, Amanda, rubs her head. (Credit: WINK News)

Marissa was airlifted to the hospital with a lacerated liver, her right elbow and left leg broken, along with stitches and staples throughout her body.

Marissa, 15 years old, laid in the hospital in a coma for months, only to wake up to a traumatic brain injury.

“I lost the Marissa that I had,” Amanda said.

Marissa knows she is lucky. She is alive and improving. The goal is for her to someday walk again. Marissa and her mother feel for Layla Aiken and Alana Tamplin, who both died near school bus stops.

“Some of the other kids,” Amanda said, “they died – I’m the only one alive that’s been through the accident.”

Amanda started a petition drive, which calls for Lee County to move bus stops off busy roads. She plans to take her petition to the school board on Sept. 10. But the School District of Lee County maintains its bus stops meet or exceed state requirements.

“I don’t want that happening to them while walking to the bus stop,” Marissa said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Michael Mora
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