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8-year-old's death prompts groups to turn bus stops into "safe zones"

Posted at 8:01 PM, Jun 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-14 20:01:03-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — It's been two and half months since eight-year-old Layla Aiken was killed in a hit-and-run crash while sitting at her bus stop in Cape Coral. Police believe that Logan Hetherington, 19, was behind the wheel of the truck that struck her. He was arrested two months later.

Now, a program to put benches at two hundred of the city's more than 1,600 bus stops is getting underway.

"Unfortunately, this was borne from a tragedy," said Nick Muhlenbruch of Cape Coral's Rotary Club.

"Children are our greatest resource," he said. "We have to protect them in any way we can."

The Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs have joined forces to help make the project happen. Muhlenbruch said many individuals have donated money for the benches, which are being built by a company in Sarasota.

An anonymous Fort Myers company is donating concrete slabs for the benches to be placed upon. The benches will be bolted to the slabs, and volunteers from the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs will put reflectors on them.

Muhlenbruch said the locations for the benches in the project were chosen carefully.

"The (Lee County) School Board informed the city where those locations are," he said. "Then the city went out and prepped those locations."

Crews will begin placing the benches at bus stops Saturday morning. The project should be completed by the time school starts on August 12.