On Thursday, Austin police released two chilling videos of students in the Independent School District from both North Austin and South Austin being hit by cars as they get off their school buses. The two students were hit in separate incidents, and evidence only exists thanks to the newly installed cameras on the side of the school buses.
According to the South Austin Patch, both drivers of the vehicles did stop to give aid, but they will still be facing charges for their actions. While both of the students were able to walk away from being hit by the vehicles without any serious injury, Austin school district Chief Eric Mendez expressed concern for how this managed to happen and a desire to ensure that there are no more incidents involving children being hit by vehicles.
“Both suffered minor injuries, only bumps and bruises thankfully. We are grateful they weren’t hurt severely. It’s so important to not have any more of these occur. We want our kids to be safe everyday as they commute to and from school.”
Considering where the students were when they were hit, it is easy to understand that these drivers are the ones at fault and were inattentive and irresponsible when they failed to take stock of their surroundings and the fact that they were so close to a school bus, where children could be exiting.
The scenes of the students getting hit by the vehicles in the videos that were released are from Monday and Tuesday, respectively, with a very heart-stopping moment happening in the case of the second accident. The police advised the media that one of the two students hit by cars is in middle school, while the other one is a high school student.
In Monday’s video, a student in South Austin school district can be seen using the crosswalk after leaving his school bus. Moments later, he is hit by a black pickup truck that seemed to have totally disregarded the child even though he was already more than halfway across the road. The student is said to be 12-years-old, and the moment that he realizes the pickup is going to turn straight into him can be seen on the video. The boy tries to turn back, but it is too late and the truck sideswipes him. The child is then seen bouncing off the front of the vehicle and getting back up shortly after, clearly in pain. The vehicle that hit him came to a stop somewhere outside of the frame of the school bus’ camera.
The incident in the second video, which occurred in North Austin on Tuesday, is actually a little more disturbing. In that video, it is a larger truck that is seen slamming into the 17-year-old student attempting to cross the road. The school bus that the student had exited is not only flashing its stop lights but also had it stop sign extended at the time, a universal signal warning drivers not to pass. That student is hit so hard by a white pickup truck that the force of it seems to attach the student to the front of the vehicle as both student and vehicle barrels out of the frame of the camera on the school bus. He was taken to a local hospital where it was found that he had miraculously escaped relatively unscathed.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that both of the drivers were cited not only for failing to stop for a school bus but also because they failed to yield to a pedestrian. The parents of the students gave permission for the videos to be used in the hopes that it can help to bring about change.
Within the first week of back to school, over 900 citations have been issued to drivers, and the school district is urging motorists to be more careful around school buses.
[Image via YouTube]