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WILKES COUNTY, N.C. — A 5-year-old girl in Wilkes County is home from the hospital but still suffering with broken legs and an achy head after the Highway Patrol says a woman ran a school bus stop arm and hit her in December. 

The district attorney charged 52-year-old Rita Blevins Shew with passing a school bus and causing serious injury to a child, a Class I felony punishable by up to a year incarceration. 

Pamela Pineda, 5, says she wants to go outside and run and play with her friends, but a big brace on one leg and a cast on the other make that impossible. 

“I have a lot of itches that I want to scratch, but my mom won’t let me scratch them,” Pamela said in Spanish. 

Pamela’s mother Blanca says she believes there are bigger problems at play. She says she feels the driver of the car ignored her daughter, and now she feels ignored by the Highway Patrol as well. 

“They’ve never called to ask how she’s doing or tell us what is happening with the case,” Blanca Pineda said. “I feel like its discrimination because we’re Hispanic. Because I assure you that if I had caused an accident like that I’d be in jail. (The driver) is still free.” 

Pineda said Shew should be locked up. 

“A person like that, who does something like that can’t be free,” Pineda said. 

When asked if she wants the driver to serve life in prison for what was likely an accident, Blanca Pineda said yes. 

“Is that harsh? Maybe.” She pointed to Pamela. “But this is my daughter.”