Girl Struck By Van Outside Petaluma School In Critical Condition

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PETALUMA (CBS SF) — An 11-year-old girl who was struck by a van outside McKinley Elementary School in Petaluma on Tuesday is in critical condition at Children’s Hospital in Oakland Wednesday, a Petaluma police lieutenant said.

Mercy Martinez and another girl ran onto Ellis Street after school as a white Ford van was approaching around 2:50 p.m. Petaluma police Lt. Tim Lyons said.

The other girl stopped short and fell backwards, hitting her head, but Martinez struck the side of the passing van and was run over, Lyons said.

Martinez was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, and was then transferred to Children’s Hospital.

The driver of the van, Zachary Bautista, 34, of Cotati, stopped at the scene. He had swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting the girls, and there is no indication he was at fault, Lyons said.

The girls were not in a crosswalk at the time of the accident.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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