A 12-year-old North Carolina boy is lucky to be alive after his backpack was caught in the door of his school bus as he was getting off the bus. Zion Baker was getting off his school bus when his backpack was caught, resulting in him being not only dragged by the bus but run over as well.
Baker was stepping off his school bus after two other girls had already gotten off, when he felt the doors close on his backpack, he told ABC 11. He was then dragged approximately 10 feet by the bus before he was able to get free from his backpack but he then fell in the path of the back tire. The bus then ran over Baker's arm. While grateful that his injuries weren't more severe, Baker's mother Serena Thomas is furious that this happened to her son in the first place.
Bruised and bandaged, 12-year-old Zion Baker survived the scary ordeal. He has since been released from the hospital, but his mother is furious about the incident. https://t.co/PpRJxfOtcr— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) October 7, 2019
"A bus driver is supposed to make sure that her kids are supposed to be safe," Serena Thomas said. "I don't send my son on a school bus to get hurt." Zion said he felt it immediately when his backpack got caught and the bus started driving away. "She pulled away and it drug me, and I fell," Zion said. Fortunately the 12-year-old only suffered wrist and elbow injuries as well as bruises and scratches from the ordeal. "It hurt really bad, there were tire marks on my arm," Zion said. "My veins turned red."
Although Thomas said she doesn't think the bus driver, who has since been charged with careless and reckless driving, caused the incident on purpose, she does think she needs to be accountable for the safety of all the children on the bus and that her negligence caused her son's injury. "You should've just watched the kids, you watched the other little girls," Thomas said. "You don't get paid for thinking. You said you thought all the kids made it over safe but you never verified if Zion made it over safe."
School Bus Exiting Safety Rules For Kids Is Important
Safety needs to be top of mind for both children who are passengers on a school bus and drivers, including those who are driving the school bus and other drivers on the road. Consumer Reports suggest that all children use the bus handrails when exiting the school bus and be cautious that items like clothes and backpacks don't get stuck on handrails or in doors, so what happened to Zion doesn't happen to another child. They also suggest walking at least 10 feet in front of the driver to ensure you can be seen before crossing in front of the bus. Students are also cautioned to stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times.
Drivers Need To Check Blind Spots
Drivers are also cautioned to ensure their surroundings are clear and that there are no children in blind spots or behind them. Reducing your speed during school hours and being alert when driving in school zones is imperative to keeping everyone safe.
School Bus Transport Is One Of The Safest Methods, But It's Busy
Although school bus travel is one of the safest ways to transport children to and from school, more school-age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. than any other time of day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.