It started just like every other morning; a seven year old went to her bus stop, but what happened next leaves a hole in the hearts of her family and friends and changed many people’s lives forever. Sadly, a young girl was struck and killed by the school bus. It happened at approximately 6:25 in the morning in front of her home on Old Dallas Road in Garland County. There’s a curve before the bus stop and at 6:25 am it is still dark and there are no street lights on this rural road.
The victim’s name is Hannah Martin.
Like many others, LifeNet Paramedic Bobby King was concerned about this tragic accident. He wanted to prevent these types of accidents involving school children. He did some research and proposed the “Hannah’s Light” project to the LifeNet management team as a way to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Hannah’s Lights are small plastic flashing lights that are designed to clip onto a child’s backpack or clothing. The intent is to add some additional flashing lights to make the children more visible to all drivers in the early morning hours. LifeNet public relations manager Melodi Kastner states “This is the second year that we have done this simple and cost effective project. Injury prevention is always on our mind. If we can keep one child safe, then we have accomplished Bobby’s vision and perhaps established something positive from this horrible event.”
LifeNet has contacted each of the school districts in Hot Spring and Garland Counties. 10,000 lights are needed to be distributed to K-3rd grade children in both Counties. “Our hope is that each child will be able to wear the light to make them more visible to all drivers, not just the bus drivers,” said Kastner. “We envision this program to expand to reach children of all ages and grade levels in the future”.
Kamo’s Kids Foundation and ESPN Radio have partnered with LifeNet to help maintain and expand this program. LifeNet is accepting donations from anyone who would like to contribute. “Every dollar donated to this project will be used to continue this program. Each device costs about a dollar so a simple $5 or $10 donation can make these lights available for 5 or 10 kids” said Kastner.
LifeNet is an Arkansas not-for-profit corporation providing cost effective, high quality ground and air ambulance services throughout Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas.