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Girl, 15, dies after being hit by out-of-control car on Tuesday morning

Students hit at bus stop in Royal Palm Beach on March 22, 2022. (WPEC)
Students hit at bus stop in Royal Palm Beach on March 22, 2022. (WPEC)
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A student from Royal Palm Beach Community High School died, Wednesday, after being hit by a car while waiting for the school bus on Tuesday morning.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said 15-year-old Tiana Johnson died at 2:30 a.m. from injuries sustained from the collision.

The crash happened just before 7 a.m. Tuesday on Crestwood Boulevard and Cypress Lake Drive. The sheriff's office said a driver in an Alfa Romeo driving northbound lost control, drove up on a sidewalk and struck four students waiting for their school bus.

All four students were taken to hospitals. The other three are boys: a 15-year-old in critical condition; and 16- and 17-year-olds in serious condition.

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CBS12 News reporter Al Pefley says the tragic news no one hear wanted to hear is hitting some students and parents hard.

“I just feel for the parents," said Billie Jean Pizzuti, parent of a Royal Palm Beach High School student. "I mean, I can't imagine losing my daughter in an accident like that.”

As students at Royal Palm Beach High headed home, Wednesday afternoon, they learned a female student had passed away.

“It's heartbreaking. I didn't know that. I'm really sad to hear that. I just pray for their family and hope they're OK," said Kathryn Calderon, Royal Palm Beach High School art teacher. "I hope the family, they have just love and comfort all around them and I'm so sorry to hear that one of them passed.”

“As a parent it breaks my heart. It’s horrible, it's horrible. The students shouldn't be afraid of waiting for the bus and be struck like that,” said Annel Frias, a Royal Palm Beach High School parent.

“I don't know what caused him to jump the curb but it's tragic. And the kids should now learn to step far back from the road to protect themselves,” said Jann Seal, a grandparent of a student at Royal Palm Beach High School.

“It's sad. A fellow student who used to walk the hallways with us has passed away. Life is short. Life just comes and goes. You never know when it's your turn,” said Stephanie Barajas, 18, a senior at Royal Palm Beach High School.

The district emailed this letter to parents:

Dear Royal Palm Beach High School Community,
Thank you for your patience while we continue to receive details regarding the devastating situation impacting a member of our RPBHS Wildcat Family. It has been confirmed that a student has died as a result of injuries from yesterday’s accident. In an effort to support our school community, the District’s crisis team is available to students and staff members for support and grief counseling services, as well as therapy dogs provided by School District Police.
We recommend that you take time today to listen to any further questions your child may have. If you feel that your child would benefit from talking with a member of our Mental Health Team: school counselors, school psychologists, behavioral health professionals, or support staff; please encourage your child to go to our Guidance Department for assistance.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family and we will continue to work together as we grieve the loss of our student. As soon as we know the family’s wishes regarding services we will share that information with you.
Michelle L. Fleming

The driver of the car Stelvio is a 57-year-old man from Royal Palm Beach who refused medical attention for minor injuries, according to the sheriff's office.

Charges against him are pending.

Some neighbors say a traffic light is needed at that intersection to slow drivers down on Crestwood Boulevard because speeding has been a problem there.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose district includes Royal Palm Beach, said she directed county engineers to do a traffic study of that intersection.

“I think when you’ve got a tragedy like this we should all work together and review the situation and if it warrants improvements on our part or the village of Royal Palm Beach or the school board, we should all work together," McKinlay said. "We’ve got a lot of grieving families right now that are looking for answers.”

CBS12 News checked with Palm Beach County Engineering and Public Works. They said there were ten crashes at the intersection in 2021.

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McKinlay said if the traffic study shows a traffic light is needed at that intersection, or the speed limit there should be lowered, or some other improvement should be made, she will do what she can to try to make it happen.

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