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Reeths-Puffer student in critical condition after getting hit by a car

There were four other students either on the bus or at the stop, the superintendent says.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Authorities are investigating after a 14-year-old was hit by a car Tuesday morning. 

Around 6:30 a.m., a school bus heading north on Russell Road was stopping to pick up a group of students waiting on the shoulder of the street. Police said a dark-colored SUV driving behind the bus passed it on the left and hit Tajen Pannell, a 14-year-old student from Reeths-Puffer, and his 14-year-old sister. 

Michigan State Police said the suspect vehicle ignored the warning lights on the bus, passed in a no-passing zone and fled the scene. 

Tajen was seriously injured and and transported to Hackley Hospital in Muskegon before being brought to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids to be treated for his serious injuries.

An employee of the hospital said Tuesday afternoon Tajen remained in critical condition. Reeths-Puffer Public Schools Superintendent Steve Edwards said both of the teen's legs were broken in the incident. 

Tajen's sister received minor injuries. There were four other students either on the bus or at the stop, according to Edwards.

Authorities describe the suspect vehicle as a dark-colored SUV and will likely have damage to the driver’s side mirror area. 

If anyone has information about the driver in this incident, they are asked to contact the MSP Rockford Post at 616-866-441, Muskegon County Sheriff's Office at 231-724-6351 or Silent Observer at 231-722-7463.

Bus safety PSA from Muskegon Area Intermediate School District:

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