Update: Brooklyn Park Man Pleads Not Guilty to Striking Girl Getting off Bus
A Brooklyn Park man pleaded not guilty Monday to charges connected to hitting a girl getting off a school bus in north Minneapolis. Gregory Garth, 60, is charged with three counts of criminal vehicular operation.
Garth is accused of striking an 11-year-old girl with his car as she got off a school bus last May. According to criminal complaint, Garth had drugs and alcohol in his system.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office charged Garth with two counts of criminal vehicular operation while under the influence of alcohol and one count of criminal vehicular operation while under the influence of drugs. The crash happened May 3 at about 4:50 p.m. at Penn Avenue North near 23rd Avenue North in Minneapolis. The girl struck the car’s windshield and landed in the middle of the street, the complaint said.
The girl suffered a skull fracture and needed multiple surgeries to relieve pressure on her brain. Court documents show the girl is “expected to suffer permanent memory loss and weakness on her left side.”
The criminal complaint also says the bus driver had not activated the school bus stop arm and flashing lights because it was a temporary stop and not the usual drop-off point, which was hindered by construction.
Garth did stop after the crash when police detected alcohol on his breath. Test results show Garth had a blood-alcohol level of .077, just below the legal limit of .08. The results also determined that Garth had traces of cocaine and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana in his system.
His trial is set to begin Oct. 28.