North Las Vegas police investigators are working to determine if a motorist who struck two children Friday in a crosswalk near a charter school, killing one of them, was speeding at the time.
Police said a 12-year-old boy was killed and his 9-year-old sister was critically injured when they were struck by a black Dodge Ram pickup as they crossed Lone Mountain Road around 3:30 p.m. near Somerset Academy, police said. The driver of the truck, Mark Kline, 47, was arrested.
Police said he faces charges of failing to use due care around pedestrians and one charge each of failing to maintain lane and failing to give full time and attention to driving. North Las Vegas police said they later a charge of vehicular manslaughter against Kline on Sunday.
In an email exchange with a reporter Monday morning, North Las Vegas police Public Information Officer Eric Leavitt was asked what led police to believe Kline was distracted at the time of the crash.
“We went off witness and driving patterns,” Leavitt said. “Vehicles make small marks on the roadway in accidents and the traffic division has hours and hours of training to determine where the vehicle came from and the pattern it shows.”
Asked what Kline was allegedly distracted by, Leavitt said “specifics will be held for court.”
He said investigators were still analyzing evidence from the scene in an effort to determine if Kline was speeding.
The children, both students at the school, were initially listed in critical condition, but the boy later died at University Medical Center surrounded by family, police said Sunday. His sister remains hospitalized. The names of the youths have not been released by authorities, although social media and online postings identify the children as Alex and Charlotte Bush.
Community members have now donated more than $45,000 in support of the family of the children via two separate Gofundme accounts.
A Gofundme account titled “Help the family of Losee siblings struck by a car” had committals of $21,417 from 313 donors as of Monday mid-morning. A second Gofundme account created by Patricia Hansen-Vosberg has now received $23,812 donations as of Monday morning.
Hansen-Vosberg said she once worked with the childrens’ father, Aaron, many years ago at a Shakespeare Festival in Utah. When she heard of the tragedy from family in Las Vegas, she decided to start the fundraising initiative for the Bush family.
“I know that the theater community is a very generous community, but I was still shocked,” Hansen-Vosberg said of the donations. “It blows my mind as to how people have stepped up.”
She encouraged people to donate to the initiative to help with health care costs for the family.
“There are all these little things, gas to get to appointments, time off from work, food to the hospital,” Hansen-Vosberg said. “I wanted them not to have to worry about that.”
Messages of grief and support for the family were posted on the fundraising pages.
“Praying for the family,” wrote Monica Brown on the first Gofundme account. “May God give you healing and comfort at this time.”
Another poster, Terreah Snow, wrote, “My prayers are with your family at this tragic time. I am truly sorry for this trial, and hope that you will be surrounded by love and support.”
Donations by individuals ranged from $5 to $2,000.
Court online records do not show that a manslaughter charge has been formally filed in court against Kline. Courts were closed Monday because of Presidents Day. North Las Vegas Municipal Court records indicate Kline owes $904 for ticket/citations and related fees.
Leavitt said Monday morning police were not immediately aware of any other major crashes at the crosswalk where Friday’s collision occurred. He said there was no crossing guard at the crosswalk because it has flashing lights and signs.