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Community Mourns Loss Of 11-Year-Old Girl Killed In Traffic Accident

The Bill Sybert School and the surrounding community are grappling with the loss of a student.

Michelle Solis, 11, died Tuesday after she was run over by a pickup truck outside the East El Paso school.

Two other children were crossing the street with Michelle: 11-year-old Sally Hernandez, who was injured, and 9-year old Andrew Meraz, who was not struck.

El Paso police said the driver of the pickup was 33-year-old Blanca Schuler. Investigators said she had the right of way and is not facing any charges.

The memorial for Michelle transformed the site of Tuesday’s tragic crash, with teddy bears and balloons placed at the scene.

Gloria Rivera is the grandmother of a Sybert student. She didn’t know Michelle or her family, but like many others, felt the need to come and grieve and pay respects.

“I personally don’t know this little baby, but I cry,” said Rivera, adding the area surrounding Sybert is unsafe.

“I don’t let my kid walk (to school),” said Rivera.

The dangerous conditions, insisted Rivera, are due to the timing of traffic lights.

“I blame the lights,” said Rivera, “They’re not adjusted right. There’s not enough time (for cars to cross).”

According to El Paso police, the children attemped to run against the traffic lights and the signal, but that answer doesn’t matter to Rivera.

“If I see kids walking in front of me, I don’t care if someone hits me in the back. I’m going to stop,” said Rivera.

It’s not clear if other cars might have obstructed the driver’s view of the kids.

Soccoro School District’s Assistant Superintendent Pat O’Neill told ABC7 that he’s never heard a parent complain about the intersection but the district is always evaluating safety practices at school.

“We’re taking a proactive approach,” said O’Neill. “We’re monitoring the situation at all times.”

O’Neill said there was a crisis team in place at Sybert Wednesday to help students through their grieving process.

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