KATHLEEN — Two girls, ages 5 and 9, were struck by a pickup truck Monday morning while waiting for a Houston County school bus, a sheriff’s traffic investigator said.
The children were transported to The Medical Center of Central Georgia, said Houston County sheriff’s Deputy Richard Mayhew, who’s investigating the 7:51 a.m. accident at Solomon Road and Canion Place.
The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, Mayhew said.
Houston County sheriff’s Capt. Robert West identified the girls as Miangel Jackson, 5, and Jolieasha Johnson, 9. Both were hospitalized and listed in stable condition late Monday afternoon, said Janie Poulnott, a spokeswoman for the Medical Center.
Charles Lee Alday, 50, was driving a Chevrolet S-10 pickup east on Solomon Road when he struck the girls, who were sitting on the edge of the pavement waiting for the school bus, according to Mayhew and a Houston County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Alday, who was blinded by the morning sunlight, did not see the girls, Mayhew said.
Alday stopped when he hit something that he thought might have been a dog, Mayhew said.
The girls’ parents, who were not there when the accident occurred, told authorities that the girls were sitting on the grass, Mayhew said.
There is no curb along Solomon Road, only road and grass, Mayhew said.
No citations or charges have been issued, with the investigation ongoing, Mayhew said.
Beth McLaughlin, director of community and school affairs for the Houston County school system, said the kindergartner and third-grader attend Matt Arthur Elementary School at 2500 Ga. 127 in Kathleen.
The accident occurred before the school bus reached the bus stop. The school principal sent out an automated call to parents to let them know about the accident in case they or children who rode the bus had any questions, and a school counselor and psychologist were on hand at the school if any students expressed a need to talk, McLaughlin said. School officials also went to the hospital to check on the girls, McLaughlin said.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.