AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just two weeks into the school year, video has been released of two Austin Independent School District students being hit by trucks in separate incidents seconds after they stepped off their school bus.
On Monday, Amy McFadden’s 12-year-old son was hit in the crosswalk at the intersection of South First Street and St. Elmo Road in South Austin.
“There’s nothing worse than that phone call where all you can hear are sirens and a child crying,” said McFadden, who is also the librarian at St. Elmo Elementary.
The middle school student, hit by a black truck turning right, stood up shortly after being knocked to the ground by the impact.
“I kept shaking because it’s the most horrible thing to watch,” said McFadden. “This driver was not some evil person. He was doing what we all do. We all have days when we’re in a hurry.”
On Tuesday, a 17-year-old high school student was hit by a 16-year-old driver in West Austin at Courtyard Drive and North Scout Island Circle. In the video, the driver does not appear to hit the brakes until only a few feet away from the teenager. The school bus’ stop sign is seen extended and flashing.
“My heart was racing it was just so intense,” said Michael Masuo, 17, who was in his car and stopped behind the school bus when it happened. “He got knocked, I think, 10 feet towards my car.”
Masuo called 911, and got out to help the teenager on the ground. Then he realized he went to middle school with the boy and goes to high school with the 16-year-old girl who was behind the wheel.
“She was mortified, she thought she killed him,” said Masuo. “She came out of the car crying and freaking out, but I tried to reassure her he seemed okay at the time.”
Masuo says the new driver, who has not had her license long, told him on scene she did not know drivers are required to stop for school buses coming from the opposite direction when they are loading and unloading children.
The students in both cases were not seriously injured. The 12-year-old walked away with bumps and bruises, and the 17-year-old was taken to the hospital by ambulance to get checked out.
In both cases, the drivers stayed at the scene and were cited by police.
During the first week of school, AISD police say their stop arm cameras have caught between 900 and 1,000 violators. During the entire school year last year, a total of 6,600 citations were issued.
The school district began ticketing drivers who illegally pass school buses equipped with stop-arm cameras on Feb. 8.