Dangling Child Survives Wild Ride

News
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 1:16pm

Child dragged along after bus doors close on backpack

A Georgia school bus driver is on administrative leave after driving off with a kindergartner's backpack caught in the door leaving the child dangling before finally stopping 41 feet down the road.

It happened Friday afternoon.

5-year-old Alexis Luvell had just finished school at Auburn Elementary.

The female bus driver stopped just past her driveway and opened the doors to let her out, but the little girl didn't get very far.

Alexis' grandmother and guardian, Brenda McCormick, was waiting for her and saw the whole thing happen.

"She closed the doors and Alexis' backpack was stuck. The driver just took off. I was screaming 'Stop! Stop!' and she finally did after people were honking," McCormick said.

Barrow County Schools Superintendent Wanda Creel said the district is investigating the incident, but said it is clear the bus driver did not follow protocol.

"When drivers let students off the bus they are supposed to wait until the students are 12 feet from the bus before they proceed to the next stop," said Creel.

The district said the bus driver has been on staff less than a year and does not have any prior record of any problems on the job.

Still witnesses say it was clear she was distracted.

Amy Matthews was driving directly behind the bus and helped flag down the driver to pull over.

"This was completely avoidable. She clearly was not paying attention. I was so afraid that little girl's backpack was going to come loose and she was going to fall under the wheels of the bus," said Matthews.

As for Alexis' ripped backpack the school district bought her a new one, but McCormick is driving her to and from school for the time being.

"I'm not ready to let her ride the bus again until the district gets to the bottom of this and I find out who the next driver is going to be," said McCormick.
 

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