MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A driver who struck an 11-year-old girl as she got off a school bus in Minneapolis in May has been charged with criminal vehicular operation.
According to a criminal complaint, 60-year-old Gregory Jamal Garth, of Brooklyn Park, had THC, cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of the crash at 23rd and Penn avenues.
Shianne Dean, 11, laid in a coma for 10 days after suffering brain and internal damage. Though she has been discharged from the hospital, she still has a feeding tube and is expected to suffer permanent memory loss and left-side weakness.
Garth told police the stop arm was not out on the bus, so he tried to pass it. During a subsequent investigation, officers learned the area where Dean was let off the school bus was a “temporary” bus stop, as the usual stop was hindered by construction. Court documents state the bus driver did not activate the stop arm or flashing lights.
After Dean awoke from a coma, she spoke to WCCO in her room at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
“I didn’t know where I was and I was scared,” she said.
When Dean was hit, her 8-year-old sister watched it all unfold. She was so traumatized she wouldn’t get on a bus after the incident, and she is scared to cross the street.
“Going through the surgery and everything, that’s bad, and I also don’t want anybody to go around a bus at all because I know if another family’s child gets hit, they are going to be sad,” Dean said.
Garth remained on scene after the May 3 crash. Officers smelled alcohol on his breath, and authorities say he performed poorly on field sobriety tests.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Dean’s family cover their mounting hospital bills.