Students rally around injured teen

MARYSVILLE – While Marysville-Pilchuck High School student Keito Swan remained in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Friday, friends worked to make sure he knows how much they care about him.

Students created huge cards, gathered signatures at the school and worked on a video of live greetings, principal Tracy Suchan-Toothaker said.

Students also placed “We love you, Keito” signs on trees near the spot in the 5700 block of 108th Street NE where the 16-year-old junior was struck by a school bus as he crossed the street about 7 a.m. Thursday.

How to help

Friends who would like to send a message of support to Keito Swan can go to, and click on the E-mail a Patient tab.

He remains in intensive care with multiple injuries after undergoing surgery, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson said.

High school counselors and teachers spoke with students about the accident, and some students came to see Suchan-Toothaker, she said. She also made two announcements to the school updating Swan’s condition.

“They have stabilized his condition, but it’s still in extremely critical condition,” she said.

The Marysville School District and Snohomish County sheriff’s investigators continued their probe, which included taking photographs in the limited light about the time of day the accident occurred, Suchan-Toothaker said.

Sheriff’s deputy Rich Niebusch said his department’s accident investigation will take several weeks to complete.

The veteran bus driver who was at the wheel remains on paid administrative leave.

“She was asking about her students on the bus and about Keito,” Suchan-Toothaker said after visiting the driver at home. “She just loves kids and is concerned about them more than about herself.”

There have been persistent complaints about safety problems on the street in front of the 2,500-student high school, where there is inadequate lighting and sidewalk only on one side of the street.

“Some of the parents want a traffic light installed down by the entrance at Pilchuck and 108th,” assistant superintendent Gail Miller said. “That costs about $250,000.

“We will be talking to the county about putting some lights in, and what we can do jointly to solve the problem.”

Miller said the school district also has other options in mind.

“What if we were to lower the speed limit on that stretch of road? It’s 35 mph in front of the school. We’ll be looking at all options, and we might do a combination of things,” she said.

School officials also have considered installing crosswalks, but research elsewhere has raised concerns because crosswalks can give children a false sense of security, she said.

“As students leave the field, there are several openings along that fence,” Miller said. “Wherever they go through the opening, that’s where they cross the street.”

School officials also are considering closing the fence gates before and after school to funnel students to one crossing.

“Would that solve this problem or create another problem?” she asked. “We want to do something fairly soon, but we also don’t want to jump to a solution that doesn’t take care of it at all.”

She said she’s not sure why nothing has been done to improve safety in front of the school.

“We’re just raising questions about what can we do,” Miller said. “Hopefully, the solution is with the parents, the county and us as a district. All of us have an interest in that being a safe stretch of road for kids.”

Reporter Cathy Logg: 425-339-3437 or logg@

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