The parents of Arra Preciado will never celebrate her second birthday. That is because the 15-month old girl was killed on Tuesday afternoon by a school bus near Tyler, Texas. The driver had offloaded children at a bus stop. She never saw the toddler, who ran past an open gate and into the path of the bus as it started moving. Initially, the driver did not realize she had hit the child. But many bystanders, including children who had gotten off the bus and their parents witnessed the horrific event. They banged on the bus as it was driving away, about 75 feet from the location, to get the driver to stop.
This tragedy illustrates once again the dangers associated with school buses. One issue demonstrated here is the physical size of the vehicle: drivers sit high above the pavement and those who typically ride upon the buses. In addition, the students who use the buses are typically young and often small kids who lack mature judgment. Though the girl who was run over in this instance had not ridden on the bus, children exiting a bus can easily stray in front of one. Bus stop placement is another critical issue. School district authorities must examine the location and traffic patterns surrounding each stop to ensure that they have selected the safest location for the loading and loading of boys and girls. Since students often have siblings who are not yet school age, it is foreseeable that toddlers and pre-schoolers will be present when buses approach and depart from bus stops. In fact, the school-age sister of little Arra was at the scene. But, most importantly, drivers need to maintain the highest level of awareness. The local Justice of the Peace put it best: “Drivers need to be careful as well as children and parents – be aware of the situation because what becomes mundane…all of a sudden can turn into a tragedy.”
If you or someone you know have been injured as a pedestrian by a commercial vehicle, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.