The driver who allegedly struck a 6-year-old girl getting off a school bus west of Whitefish last year has been charged with felony criminal endangerment.
Patricia Ann Berliner was charged on April 7, five months after she allegedly hit a young girl, Jordana Hubble, as she was getting off the bus. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison.
According to the charging documents, on Nov. 12, 2019, a school bus was dropping off children from the Olney-Bissell School along U.S. Highway 93 west of Whitefish. The bus driver was about to make the last stop of the day and activated the warning lights as normal. As the bus slowed down, the driver noticed a car coming in the opposite direction that appeared to be slowing down. The bus driver opened the door and the children, including Hubble, got out.
The car struck Hubble as she crossed the road. According to law enforcement, the vehicle was traveling at more than 40 miles per hour. The girl was thrown more than 60 feet and ended up in the ditch. Hubble suffered a traumatic brain injury and was sent to the hospital. Months later she is still recovering from her injuries.
According to witnesses, Berliner said she did not realize she needed to stop for the school bus since it was in the other lane.
According to a toxicology report, Berliner was not intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Since the incident occurred, Hubble’s family and friends have pushed for stricter driving laws and punishments for those who do not stop for a school bus.
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