A Clark County School District bus driver rolled through a stop sign Thursday afternoon, striking a 16-year-old girl in a crosswalk and pinning her under the vehicle's wheels, North Las Vegas police said.
The unidentified girl was at University Medical Center in serious condition Thursday night.
The collision occurred about 3:25 p.m. at Brooks Avenue and Berg Street, just south of Lincoln Elementary School.
North Las Vegas police spokeswoman Chrissie Coon said the driver, a 51-year-old Las Vegas resident, failed to yield at a crosswalk and struck the girl, a North Las Vegas resident.
Coon said the bus driver was at fault and should have stopped short of the crosswalk.
"Most of these crashes are caused by driver or pedestrian error," Coon said. "If the driver had been paying a little more attention, this 16-year-old girl wouldn't be in the hospital right now."
Police said the bus was traveling north on Berg when it approached the intersection at Brooks, which has a stop sign and a marked crosswalk.
The teenager was walking west, trying to cross Berg in the crosswalk, when the bus driver failed to yield and hit her.
The teenager was knocked into the intersection and remained in the vehicle's path. The bus driver attempted to brake but ran over the girl and pinned her under the front wheels.
When rescue personnel arrived, they told the driver to back up and "dislodge the juvenile," police said.
The driver was not identified. Coon said it is department policy to withhold the names of people who have not been charged .
Police said drugs, alcohol and speed did not appear to be factors in the crash.
The driver voluntarily submitted to a blood test. Any possible criminal charges will not be filed until police receive the results of the blood draw.
North Las Vegas police Sgt. Tim Bedwell said the bus, about 60 percent the length of a standard school bus, was carrying only the driver and one student when it hit the teen.
Thursday's collision continued the recent spike in the number of Las Vegas Valley vehicles hitting pedestrians.
On Oct, 21, three girls were injured about 6:45 p.m. when they were struck by a vehicle in a North Las Vegas crosswalk at Camino Eldorado and Bent Arrow Drive.
Amelia "Mia" Decker, 6, died from injuries suffered in the crash.
Six-year-old Rain Mowery was treated for a fractured skull and released from the hospital. Her sister, 5-year-old Alyssa Mowery, remains hospitalized.
The 78-year-old driver who struck the girls did not brake, and the vehicle carried one child almost 150 feet, North Las Vegas police said. The driver's name has not been released.
Mia's death pushed the number of traffic-related fatalities in North Las Vegas to nine in 2011, up from eight in all of 2010.
Coon said the fact that two girls involved in North Las Vegas crashes were fighting for their lives Thursday night was "mind-boggling."
She attributed the rash of vehicle and pedestrian collisions to more people walking outdoors because the weather is cooling. She also said the sluggish economy probably means fewer people are driving or taking public transportation. Another critical factor, Coon said: "Drivers just aren't paying attention lately."
Other police agencies also have been hit hard by the upswing in the number of fatal car crashes involving pedestrians.
On Saturday , 15-year-old Lucas Ruiz-Brenes was struck by a car about 10 p.m. while crossing Center Street near Dogwood Street in Henderson.
Henderson police said Ruiz-Brenes, who died Sunday, was not in a marked crosswalk when he was struck by a Mercedes-Benz SUV driven by Imre Dayka, 77. Dayka was booked on a charge of felony DUI with substantial bodily harm or death.
On Halloween night, 12-year-old Faith Love was struck by a driver suspected of being under the influence. She died from her injuries.
The collision occurred at 8:20 p.m. Monday at Sandstone Bluffs Drive and Wesley Lake Place in Summerlin. Driver Justin Caramanica, 41, was arrested on a felony DUI charge.
On Tuesday night, a 55-year-old woman was struck by a car while crossing Cheyenne Avenue from north to south outside of a marked crosswalk near Las Vegas Boulevard.
Police said 69-year-old Betty Packer was driving a Ford Taurus east on Cheyenne when she struck the woman about 7:15 p.m. The woman died at the scene.
On Wednesday, Las Vegas police called a news conference on road safety in light of the recent cluster of pedestrian-involved vehicle crashes. Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Richard Strader said drivers and pedestrians need to remain alert.
"The public just needs to use common sense," he said. "And I'm talking about pedestrians, and I'm talking about these drivers. ... It's all our responsibility to keep our community safe."
Review-Journal writer Trevon Milliard contributed to this report. Contact reporter Antonio Planas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638.