Police: Child Hit By Drifting School Bus; Driver Charged

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BELTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ/AP)—A busload of children rolls across a road with no one behind the wheel and plows into a 7-year-old boy. That boy and another child suffered injuries and the bus driver is under arrest.

Christie Ileto explains why police say he’s responsible for what happened.

The driver of that school bus is in big trouble, facing a laundry list of charges including reckless endangerment and leaving a child unattended.

Police are investigating why a runaway school bus hit a young boy in Prince George’s County on Monday.

“He was screaming ‘Get me out! Pull me out!'” said Waheeda Davis, witness.

Police say 61-year-old Arturo Roberto Harris of Clinton is the driver, though he wasn’t behind the wheel when it crashed.

Police say the driver got off the bus, left it running in the parking lot of High Point High School for reasons unknown. That’s when the bus drifted across four lanes of busy traffic, hitting a 7-year-old boy waiting on a bus stop.

Police spokeswoman Officer Nicole Hubbard says five children, including the child struck at the bus stop, were treated and released at an area hospital.

“As a caretaker for children, you can’t make a decision you’re gonna leave them unattended in a multi-thousand pound vehicle that has the ability to travel on its own in this case,” said Lt. William Alexander, Prince George’s County Police Department.

Police say a passing motorist pulled the young boy out from under the bus before he was taken to a children’s hospital with minor injuries.

That motorist has been identified as Baltimore County auxiliary officer Matthew Knight.

“It’s very scary,” said Georgina Tossou, victim’s mother.

Tossou is the 7-year-old’s mother.

“As soon I saw him and then the doctor say he’s going to be fine, so I am relieved,” Tossou said.

Police say Harris apparently needed to find a restroom so badly he left the engine running with a handful of young children on board.

Police say those kids, along with Tossou’s son, are OK.

Tossou says it’s a miracle her son wasn’t killed.

It’s unclear why the bus began to drift in the first place. Police are investigating whether the driver used the parking brake.

(Copyright 2013 — The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.)

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