Boy remains critical after struck by car; Driver to face judge

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - WFTV learned a boy who was struck by a car as he was trying to board a school bus is in critical, but stable condition on Tuesday.

On Monday morning, 16-year-old Jordan Velez was crossing Simpson Road in Kissimmee with other students to get onto their Osceola County school bus.

The bus lights were on and the stop sign was out, but 86-year-old James Martin said he did not see any of it. He drove past the bus, hitting the teenager and throwing him 60 feet.

Martin must undergo a medical evaluation to figure out whether he'll face any future driving restrictions because of this accident.

WFTV's Kathi Belich found out Martin is still allowed to drive until these tests come back. Because state troopers found he did not intentionally hit the teenager, he will not face jail time. WFTV learned that would have been the case even if the student did not survive the crash.

A friend told WFTV Jordan is making progress at Arnold Palmer Hospital with a broken leg and head injury.

Friends describe Velez as an outgoing teenager. One friend said Jordan's brother had some good news.

"He said that he didn't open his eyes until last night, but he's all right now. Thank God," said Chris Colon, Velez's friend.

But his friends are worried about him and are doing what they can to support him. They've posted a page on Facebook they're calling 'Get Better Jordan,' with inspirational messages, like 'Stay strong.'

At his house, friends have brought fresh flowers as a sign of hope, and have left notes for him. One of them says 'My prayers are going out for you.'

WFTV found out Martin was a substitute bus driver for the Osceola County School District six years ago. For a few months when he was 80 years old, and then, by his own choice, he decided to work as a bus monitor instead.

He was headed to his bus monitor job Monday when he hit the teenager.

Court records show Martin was ticketed five years ago for allegedly running a red light, but it appears it was dismissed after the officer was late for court.

Even though Martin was only ticketed on Monday for passing a stopped school bus, he will have to face a judge because of the serious injuries involved, and could be fined or have his license suspended.