One mother is counting her blessings after an accident nearly claimed the life of her six-year-old son, but he miraculously survived.
Athena Lavigne was waiting for her son and her niece, also age 6, to get off the bus. Her niece stepped off the bus, however when her son got off, his backpack got caught in the door as it closed. The driver did not see, and took off, dragging the boy along with it.
“My son tried to get off,” Lavigne told WGME-TV. “And he immediately started to drive off … I was waiting for his little body to go underneath the bus. I didn’t think the driver was going to stop.
“Then the bus immediately started to drive away. I saw my … son’s feet underneath the bus being dragged and I heard him scream," she continued. “I thought my son was going to get dragged up under the bus and I was going to watch him die."
“And I ran after the school bus,” Lavigne recalled. “And I was screaming for him to stop. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I just wanted him to stop. I didn’t think he was going to stop. I thought he was just going to keep driving. It felt like forever. It was terrifying.”
The driver finally stopped, but the boy was scraped up all along the side of his body.
The mother attributes the backpack straps being strong enough to bear his weight to being what saved her son's life
“He’s got road rash down the side of his left leg,” Lavigne added “He’s been a real trooper throughout the whole thing. He’s really scared. Doesn’t want to ride the school bus anymore.”
Police report that he as dragged approximately 575 feet and the school transportation director admitted that the driver did not follow the strict exiting procedure.
This was an accident that could have been avoided.
“Loading and unloading is the most critical time of a bus driver’s job,” the director explained. “You have to be 100% focused during that time. Obviously, mistakes happened.”.
“I don’t understand how this happened,” Lavigne concluded. “I’m just so glad he’s OK.”
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