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Father of girl killed in school bus crash lobbies for change from lawmakers

Posted: 1:35 PM, Feb 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-06 13:39:37-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Michael Stahl didn’t get to say goodbye to his daughter.

“I didn’t get to give her a hug, I didn’t get to give her a kiss, she was gone,” he said Wednesday about his 9-year-old daughter, Olivia Stahl.

Olivia and her two siblings were struck and killed in October while they crossed the street to get on a school bus in Fulton County, Indiana. The school bus’s stop arm and exterior lighting were activated at the time.

Michael gave his testimony in support of an Indiana Senate bill that would raise the penalties for people who pass buses with the stop arm out.

His words came slowly and carefully as he emotionally described his daughter’s final moments.

“To see my daughter after everything, I looked into those eyes and they weren’t her eyes,” he said. “They were gone. They were hollow.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE | How Indiana law can prevent another bus stop disaster | 3 siblings hit, killed while crossing the street to get on the school bus in Fulton County | Bus stop arm violations on the rise | No state laws regulate school bus stop locations | CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Drivers ignoring bus stop arm near Carmel school

Head’s bill would also require schools to make sure children don’t have to cross a state highway to get to a bus, and allow schools to petition to reduce speed limits around bus stops.

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously. It will move to the full Senate.

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