‘I thought he was going to die’: Child dragged hundreds of feet by school bus, mom says
PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - A school bus driver is on leave after a terrifying incident on Thursday.
A 6-year-old boy was attempting to get off a school bus but was dragged hundreds of feet when his backpack got stuck in the bus door.
The child’s mother, waiting for him at the bus stop, said she saw the terrible incident unfold and ran after the bus.
“I didn’t think he was going to stop. I thought my son was going to get dragged under the bus, and I thought he was going to die. Thank God he had shoes on,” said the boy’s mother, Athena Lavigne.
Pictures were taken at the hospital after their child was dragged down the road with dozens of other kids still onboard the bus.
“He is having a hard time walking, but that’s just from his legs being all scraped up,” said the boys’ father, Matt Lavigne.
School officials said the bus driver was placed on leave after the incident.
“We have to be 100% focused at all times,” said Dottie Muchmore, the Bonnie Eagle School District Transportation director.
Muchmore said school bus drivers go through a minimum of 40 hours of training.
“We focus on the loading and unloading of our students. It’s very important. It’s the most critical time of a bus driver’s job,” she said.
The standard safety procedure requires drivers to wait for kids to finish crossing the street before closing the doors and driving away, according to Muchmore.
The school district and Buxton police report the incident is under investigation.
“There are many things that could have gone wrong. You’re just hoping that child is OK and not severely injured,” said Buxton Police Department Chief Troy Cline.
Despite the scrapes and bruises, the boy’s parents said they are thankful things didn’t turn out worse.
“He’s doing well. He’s such a trooper. He has taken better care of me during this than I have. I’m just really grateful he’s OK,” Athena Lavigne said.
School district officials said administrators rode with students on the buses on Friday.
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