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16-year-old student hit by school bus, recovering in ICU

A 16-year-old Jacksonville High School boy was hit by a school bus on Friday, February 9, 2018. (Merrilee Moore, NewsChannel 12 photo)

A 16-year-old Jacksonville High School student is recovering in intensive care from serious injuries resulting from being hit by a school bus.

Jacksonville Police responded to a crash in which a pedestrian was struck by a school bus at 6:37 a.m. Friday. The crash occurred at the 1800 block of Gum Branch Road in the vicinity of Fire Station 2, near Jacksonville High School.

The pedestrian, a 16-year-old boy, was transported to US Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune with serious injuries, a representative of Jacksonville Department of Public Safety said. He is said to be recovering in the Intensive Care Unit. Out of respect for the family's privacy, officials are not releasing his name at this time.

A crisis team was at Jacksonville High School to support students and staff in the wake of the crash. Onslow County Schools sends their thoughts and prayers to the student and family, a representative said. On Friday evening, the City of Jacksonville reported an additional review by the N.C. Department of Transportation would be sought for the area where the student was hit.

Residents who live across the street from the school report hearing a loud screeching noise early in the morning, followed shortly by sirens.

"Everyone's been worried -- we're hoping he's okay," Bradley Embly, a sophomore at the high school, said. "I had just asked who it was and they told me his name and they were saying that all they knew is that he got hit by a bus and that he had to be taken to the hospital."

Many describe the intersection where the incident occurred as "dangerous." with one woman saying she often sees drivers ignoring the red light by driving through it.

"It's a very busy road --My daughter goes to school down the block and I worry about it every day [because] she walks to school, Giobanna Veilla, a parent, said. "I think they should have more crossing guards. Especially the high school doesn't have any crossing guards at all."

Many students park across the street and cross the road by foot where the 16-year-old was hit. Local business owners also hint at heavy traffic flow being part of the problem.

"Traffic is just so heavy here that a lot of things happen," Ronnie Henderson, a business owner, said. "There's a lot of wrecks that have been at this stop light here since I've been here. I think I've been here about 13 years."

The crash is under investigation. NewsChannel 12 reporters are on scene and will provide more updates once available.

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