Girl hit by truck no longer in medically-induced coma
Published Saturday, May 19, 2012 11:32AM EDT
Good news for the family of Lydia Herrle. The 13-year old who was struck by a garbage truck moments after getting off a school bus in St. Agatha on Thursday is no longer in a medically induced coma.
Lydia had just stepped off the bus in front of her family's business, Herrle's Country Farm Market on Erbs Road west of Wilmot Line, shortly before 4 p.m. Waterloo Regional Police say the truck rear-ended the bus. As the truck was passing on the right side of the bus, it hit the young girl, throwing her several feet away. The truck then came to a stop in a ditch.
Trevor Herrle-Braun, Lydia's uncle, held her until emergency crews arrived. "Two days ago we were worrying about frost on the veggie crops," said Herrle-Braun. "This put it all in perspective."
Lydia's grandmother, Elsie Herrle, said the girl was unconscious but was breathing on her own after the accident. She was airlifted to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children where she was put in a medically induced coma. She had several broken bones, including a skull fracture.
"We're hoping she's the girl that she was," said Elsie Herrle. "When you've got brain injuries, that's an issue, and she does have some bleeding in her brain."
Lydia is still in a coma, but it is no longer medically induced. The Herrle family says she's in critical condition, but Lydia is responding to touch. Doctors are monitoring her brain for increased swelling and bleeding.
Lydia's parents James and Michelle Herrle are waiting by her bedside. They released a statement which said: "We are thankful and overwhelmed by the support and prayers of our community. We are entrusting Lydia to the Sovereign Lord who created her and gave her to us."
The Herrle family also thanked the community for their support. They said they have received hundreds of messages of support on Twitter, under the family's account @HerrlesMarket and the hashtag #prayforlydia.
At Baden Public School support and counseling is being offered to Lydia's fellow students, including the seven students on the bus at the time of the accident. None of them were hurt. One day after the accident, parents say their children are too afraid to sit at the back of the bus.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash. They say the bus has its arm out and lights were flashing while it was stopped.
"We [are] looking at a number of factors, including driver error, mechanical [failure] and environmental issues," said Olaf Heinzel of the Waterloo Regional Police. "Our investigators are currently continuing to explore all of those particular options, and really still all of them are on the table and sometimes it isn't all or one. It's maybe a combination of all three."
No charges have been laid.