Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
A 12-year-old boy is recovering Wednesday from injuries he suffered late Tuesday after exiting a school bus and being struck by a passing vehicle.
A unidentified male student in the Vidor Independent School District was struck by a truck after exiting the bus late Tuesday afternoon in the 1100 block of Orange Street.
According to information from the Vidor Police Department and the Vidor Independent School District, the incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m., Tuesday. The boy was exiting the bus, which was traveling east on Orange Street, and attempting to cross the street. The oncoming truck did not stop and struck the child.
The driver of the truck, an unidentified 19-year-old woman from Vidor, was traveling west toward the bus at the time of the incident.
“What we appear to have is a distracted driver,” said David Vandagriff, Assistant Chief of the Vidor Police Department. “She said she didn’t see the lights on the bus.”
Vandagriff said the driver attempted to swerve and avoid hitting the child, but the student was hit by the vehicle’s mirror and his foot may have been run over as several sources have reported the child has a broken ankle.
Vandagriff said the woman passed a field sobriety test and voluntarily offered blood for a blood draw.
“Once we get the results of the tox screen, we’ll know more on what, if any charges, are filed in this case,” Vandagriff explained. “At the very least it will be failure to stop for the bus which will be enhanced because of the injury to a pedestrian.”
Dr. Jay Killgo, Vidor ISD Superintendent, was thankful the child’s injuries were not worse and no other children were injured.
“When I got there late Tuesday, the student was being transported to St. Elizabeth hospital and the truck was in the ditch from where the woman had swerved trying to avoid hitting the student,” Killgo said. “It’s one of those circumstances where a moment’s distraction turned into a bad situation.”
The bus was transporting home several elementary, middle school and junior high students who had been participating in the Vidor ISD’s ACE after school program.
The program, now in its fourth year, offers Vidor ISD students a variety of fun and educational after school activities. Approximately 1,500 students are currently enrolled in the program.