ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Royal Palm Beach school bus stop where four students were hit by a car earlier this week will be moved as a result of the tragic accident.
In a letter to parents on Thursday, Royal Palm Beach Community High School Principal Michelle Fleming said the bus stop — located at Crestwood Boulevard South and Cypress Lake Drive — will be relocated to a nearby area by the School District of Palm Beach County's transportation department.
However, the exact location of the new stop and when the change will happen are still being discussed, Fleming said.
In her letter, Fleming added the bus stop is being moved "out of respect for the victims and families of Tuesday’s devastating vehicle accident, and in an effort to be sensitive to all students utilizing that stop."
WPTV reached out to the district to ask how bus stops are chosen. The district responded with an email saying school bus stop locations are determined in accordance with school board policy, Florida statutes and board of education rules.
Bus stops are generally located within 1-1/2 miles of students' homes and 1-1/2 miles apart from each other. The district said stops are also selected to avoid obvious dangers such as bodies of water and to avoid requiring students to cross roads with speed limits over 35 mph or higher.
Meanwhile, a memorial is growing Thursday for the four students who were hit Tuesday morning while waiting for their school bus. People have left flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, and written messages of love at the crash site.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Angel Antonio Lopez, 57, was driving a 2018 Alfa Romero Stelvio around 7 a.m. Tuesday and lost control, drove onto a sidewalk, and struck four students.
Tragically, one of those children, a 15-year-old girl, passed away from her injuries Wednesday.
Three other students — ages 15, 16, and 17 — were injured in the crash. All of them attend Royal Palm Beach Community High School.
In a call to parents on Wednesday, Fleming said the School District of Palm Beach County's crisis team is available to students and staff members for support and grief counseling, along with therapy dogs from the school district's police department.
The Palm Beach County School Board held a moment of silence for the victims at Wednesday night's meeting.
Several board members became emotional while talking about the tragedy.
"To the families and everyone at Royal Palm High School who's been affected by this, my heart is with you," said Board Member Erica Whitfield. "Absolute thoughts and prayers for what's going on with those families."
"They were doing the right thing. Coming to school. Doing what they should be doing, getting ready to get their education," said Board Member Marcia Andrews, whose district covers Royal Palm Beach Community High School. "I want to say to the families, our hearts and our prayers go out to you. All of you."
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According to Palm Beach County's engineer, Tuesday's crash is the first fatality at the intersection of Crestwood Boulevard South and Cypress Lake Drive since Feb. 2021. However, there have been a total of eight crashes since 2021 at that intersection, not including Tuesday's crash.
Lopez suffered minor injuries and refused medical attention at the scene.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, charges are pending against Lopez.
Investigators are waiting for toxicology test results to come back to show if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash.