MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Charges have been filed against a 60-year-old Brooklyn Park man who hit an 11-year-old girl getting off her school bus in Minneapolis last spring, leaving her with life-threatening injuries.
The girl, Shianne Dean, spent more than a month in the hospital and had several surgeries following that May 3 crash. Now, she’s in physical and speech therapy almost daily.
Thursday, she told FOX 9 about her recovery after the devastating crash.
Shianne is still on the mend and tells us it's been tough -- especially since they don't live far from where this all happened on Penn Avenue North and 23rd. She says it’s hard to look at the spot she was hit.
Thursday, new documents revealed the driver who hit her, Gregory Garth, has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular operation while under the influence of alcohol and one count while under the influence of drugs.
Shianne was getting off the bus with her sister when Garth's vehicle hit her while crossing Penn Avenue. Police said Garth drove around the stopped school bus and hit Shianne, sending her flying into the air, and leaving her with life-threatening injuries.
It’s still emotional thinking about that day.
"Really, all I remember is me and my sister getting off the bus because I had called and told my mom we were close," she says. "And I remember that we were getting off the bus and no cars were coming, so I told my sister, come on, and then he had sped around the bus and hit me. I’m just glad that my sister wasn’t right behind me because then we would’ve both been in the hospital."
She explained, "I’m glad that she was there because if we both would’ve been hit, she’s not as strong as me, and she probably would’ve passed, and I don’t want that to happen."
The criminal complaint released Thursday also said that Shianne had been let out at a temporary bus stop because of construction and that the driver did not activate the stop arm or flashing lights.
LaTonya wants their story to be a reminder to all those behind a wheel. "When you see the school bus out, regardless if there is an arm out or stop sign, please don’t go around it because you never know what might come in front of the bus to cross the street. I just don’t want another parent to go through this."
Garth will be in court on August 26. Shianne's family said they wanted to be there, but it’s her first day of school, so they will focus on that instead.