A local business and some residents have come together to build a new school bus stop along Newman Road in hopes of reducing the traffic danger posed to children.
The new bus stop was erected after the death of an 8-year-old girl, Destiny Chambers, who was struck by a truck driver in September as she crossed the road to board a school bus. The bus stop was built at the site of the accident on Newman Road close to the Sunny Slope Lane intersection.
Floyd Dayton, shop foreman at Holden Buildings, said the company was approached by subcontractors who regularly work with it and asked about donating materials for the bus stop.
"We were more than happy to do that," Dayton said. "We just wanted to give back to the community, something we could do to help prevent something like this from happening again."
Chambers was killed in the early hours of Sept. 27 when she was struck by a semitrailer that was heading east on Newman Road toward Interstate 49. The driver, Lance Lee, of DeKalb, Illinois, allegedly did not stop and was found later that day at a truck stop near Springfield.
When police asked Lee about damage to the front of the truck, Lee initially told them he hit a deer on Interstate 44 but said he thought he hit a mailbox along Newman Road. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and was released from the county jail after posting bond.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10. The Chambers family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the trucking company, but that suit was dismissed voluntarily, according to online court records.
Nick Cassidy, one of the subcontractors who approached Dayton about building a bus stop, lives in the neighborhood where Chambers was killed and said drivers frequently speed through the area. He enlisted the help of a co-worker, Codey Myers, in building the bus stop.
The bus stop is hard to miss, as it's painted to look like a box of Crayola crayons. The county also has installed signs on both sides of Newman Road to make motorists aware of the bus stop.
"We definitely wanted it to be big enough that you could see it from any direction of the road," Myers said. "We were going back and forth about what we wanted it to look like, and I just saw a box of crayons sitting around at the house and that's what we went with."