Neighbor’s surveillance video helps Cleveland police find car that struck girl getting off bus

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — A neighbor's surveillance camera helped police track down a car that investigators believe struck a 9-year-old girl as she got off her school bus.

The vehicle did not stop, but Cleveland police believe they have recovered the car responsible.  No one has been arrested.

Cleveland police say the girl’s injuries are not life-threatening. As of Thursday evening, she was listed in stable condition and undergoing surgery.

"It did show the bus stopping and it also showed an officer kind of making a right hand turn onto Dearborn," said neighbor Denise McCoy, as she describes video recorded by her camera.

Just before 4 p.m. Thursday, McCoy's home surveillance cameras were recording when the 9-year-old girl was struck while getting off her school bus at West 73rd Street and Dearborn Avenue in Cleveland.

The video shows the school bus stop just past the intersection. At the same time, a Cleveland police cruiser pulls up from behind, makes a right turn, and also stops.

That's when a rust-colored Kia Soul is seen first making a complete stop behind the bus.

"You kind of can see a car, kind of whipping around the officer and coming around the bus," McCoy said.

The Kia goes around the bus, but the moment it strikes the little girl happens out of the camera's view.  Officials with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District say the overhead lights on the bus were activated and the retractable stop sign on the side was extended.

The officer followed the vehicle, but the driver managed to get away.

"It's very sad when you see a mother standing out there just crying the way she was," McCoy said.

A school district spokeswoman says the girl who was struck is a third-grader from Waverly Elementary School.

The district sent another bus to take home the rest of the roughly 20 students who were on board.

"I went over and talked with the officers," explained McCoy.

McCoy showed her video to police and within a few hours, they had located the suspected vehicle in a driveway about a mile away on West 91st Street near Maywood Avenue.

She is relieved that her surveillance video was useful to investigators.

"I thought maybe we might have caught something on the Ring camera, so I just went over and kind of offered," McCoy said.

Officials say the girl is being treated at MetroHealth Medical Center for a significant leg injury.

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