6-Year-Old Wis. Girl Was Killed by Car While Boarding School Bus, Allegedly by Man Driving Recklessly

Months after allegedly fatally hitting a 6-year-old girl with his truck, Wisconsin authorities have charged a 76-year-old man with homicide by negligent driving, according to multiple reports.

Carl Mullenix of Plainfield appeared in Waushara County Circuit Court Tuesday after his arrest Monday.

Mullenix was also charged with reckless driving causing injury in the Feb. 10 death of Maryana Kranz, reports the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.

According to WGBA-TV, Mullenix will not sit in jail as he awaits trial, as the judge set bond at $10,000, which he was able to post.

The allegations were detailed by the Wausau Pilot and Review.

Citing the criminal complaint, the paper reports that an Oasis woman told police she was with her three granddaughters — including Maryana — that morning, waiting for the school bus.

When the vehicle pulled up, the woman said she looked both ways to check that there was no traffic before leading the girls across the highway to the bus.

Maryana was holding onto her grandmother's hand and was stepping around the arm of the bus when a pickup suddenly emerged and struck the girl, according to the paper's report.

Maryana was pronounced dead at the scene after being propelled into the air by the impact. She landed on the shoulder of the highway. One of her sisters was also injured.

Investigators also spoke to the bus driver, who verified the truck appeared suddenly.

Mullenix allegedly told detectives he was on his way to a repair shop when he saw the bus, slammed on his brakes, and steered towards the passenger side of the bus. According to the complaint, he told police he then heard a "big bang."

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Mullenix allegedly told police he couldn't remember seeing people in the road as he approached the bus.

Maryana's mother, Shannon Kranz, spoke to the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune earlier this year, and said her daughter was a sweet child who loved dancing, butterflies, the music of Jethro Tull, and all things bright and colorful.

"Whenever someone needed a hug, she hugged them," Kranz said. "That's the hardest part. The one person I need a hug from, I can't get it from."

Due back in court in February, Mullenix has yet to plead to the charges he faces.

Information on his attorney was unavailable at press time.

If convicted, he faces 11 years in prison.

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