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Published: Friday, 3/25/2005

Car hits, kills 5-year-old after he exits school bus; kindergartner struck while crossing street

BY ERIKA RAY AND JACK BAESSLER
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Oregon police Sgt. Ken Reno comforts Wayne Appenfelder, whose great-nephew Dameatrius
McCreary, 5, was struck and killed by a car as he exited a school bus on Starr Avenue.
Oregon police Sgt. Ken Reno comforts Wayne Appenfelder, whose great-nephew Dameatrius McCreary, 5, was struck and killed by a car as he exited a school bus on Starr Avenue.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge

A 5-year-old Oregon boy on his way home from kindergarten was struck and killed by a car yesterday after he got off a school bus in front of his home.

Dameatrius McCreary, a student at Coy Elementary School, was attempting to cross Starr Avenue, a two-lane street, near Berlin Avenue in front of the stopped school bus when he was hit by the car driven by Angelique M. Dipman, 27, of Clay Township, Ottawa County, Oregon police said.

The bus had its warning lights activated and side-mount stop sign extended when the accident occurred about 3:30 p.m. in front of his home at 2743 Starr Ave., police said.

Ms. Dipman was driving west on Starr in her 2000 Pontiac Grand Am when she apparently disregarded the warning lights on the stopped eastbound bus and struck the boy, police said.

The child was taken by ambulance a short distance away on Starr to Fassett Middle School, where a waiting medical helicopter transported him to Toledo Hospital. He later was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police investigate the scene where the boy was struck by a car that allegedly drove past his bus  warning lights.
Police investigate the scene where the boy was struck by a car that allegedly drove past his bus warning lights.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge

Ms. Dipman, who was not wearing a seat belt, was not hurt.

When police investigators approached Ms. Dipman after the accident, she was talking on her cell phone with an attorney, Oregon police Chief Tom Gulch said.

Ms. Dipman told officers that on the advice of her attorney, she would not answer any questions.

She was placed in the back of a patrol car at the accident scene.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, police said.

No charges were filed, and the accident remains under investigation, police said.

Sandra TenEyck, 22, the mother of the child, said it was her first day on the job yesterday delivering flowers at River East Flowers when she learned of the accident.

She drove with her mother to Toledo Hospital.

Angelique M. Dipman, 27, of Clay Township drove the car that struck the boy, police said.
Angelique M. Dipman, 27, of Clay Township drove the car that struck the boy, police said.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge

Last night, Ms. TenEyck told reporters outside the hospital s emergency room that she was angry police did not take the driver of the car into custody.

When a child is hit [by a car] the law should be different, she said.

The only thing I know is a lady was let go. She walked away from the scene.

Chief Gulch advised: There is nothing more important than for drivers to realize a stopped bus means there are children present.

Shoes, a sock, and a lollipop believed to belong to the boy remained in the street an hour after the accident.

I knew it was bad, said Bill Simon, 49, who lives on the corner of Starr and Berlin.

You could see the paramedics working on whoever it was on the street, so you knew it was bad.

A 9-year-old girl who was on the bus at the time said she didn t see the accident, but she heard lots of screaming.

It was a Halloween sound, said the girl, whose name was withheld at the request of her mother.

About 15 to 20 students who were on the bus after the accident were escorted to another bus and transported to their homes if a parent or guardian was home on the students arrival, Oregon Superintendent John Hall said.

Evidence cones and a shoe worn by 5-year-old Dameatrius McCreary mark the area where the Oregon boy was hit by a car.
Evidence cones and a shoe worn by 5-year-old Dameatrius McCreary mark the area where the Oregon boy was hit by a car.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge

Other students were taken to a nearby day-care center to wait for the arrival of a family member.

The parents or guardians were being told what had occurred, he said.

The bus driver refused to comment or give his name to a reporter.

The school s principal, Lonny Rivera, said Dameatrius was enrolled at Coy Elementary in late January.

He was just a nice little boy, Mr. Rivera said. He was very quiet and very tiny for a kindergartner.

Superintendent Hall said a memorial fund will be established on behalf of Dameatrius, and counselors will be available at the school on April 4 when students return after spring break.

Ms. TenEyck thanked Oregon school officials for their show of support for her and her family.

Dameatrius started kindergarten last fall at Raymer Elementary School when the family lived in East Toledo before moving to Oregon.

Contact Erika Ray at: eray@theblade.comor 419-724-6088.



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