Police: 7-Year-Old Boy Hit By UA Transit Bus

A 7-year-old boy was run over by a University of Arkansas transit bus in Fayetteville Saturday afternoon (Feb. 15), police say.

Sgt. Craig Stout, Fayetteville Police Department spokesman, said the boy was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center in “bad” condition.

Crews on the scene told 5NEWS the boy was playing chase with other kids and ran out into the street, but he didn’t see the bus.

“Bus honked it’s horn, the child recognized the bus was coming tried to get out of the way and run back into the yard but just wasnt quick enough. The bus quickly got on the breaks, but the bus traveled over the child the best we can tell,” Sgt. Shannon Gabbard said.

The boy was undergoing surgery Saturday evening, police said. Initially he was in critical condition but has since been updated to stable condition. He has been transported to Little Rock Children’s Hospital for severe leg injuries Sgt. Stout told 5NEWS reporters.

Investigators do not believe speeding contributed to the accident. The accident happened near the 500 block of Betty Jo Drive, police said. The street was blocked off by police.

Neighbor Tanya Hice said children in the neighborhood play in the street often but from now on she will make sure her children are not in the road.

“I do get on to my children if I see them around the road but however I think I’m going to primarily keep them in the back of the yard now,” Hice said.

Stay with 5NEWS for the latest updates.

30 comments

  • royprhodes

    One thing for certain the bus driver ISN’T at fault..
    The Kids Parents should of taught their child DON/T PLAY CHICKEN WITH ANY TYPE OF VEHICLE; CAUSE YOU WILL LOOSE..

  • bobreal

    I hope the Driver takes a LAW SUIT out against the parents; FOR NOT CONTROLING THEIR SON.. Driving a Bus is work enough and HAVING TO LOOKOUT FOR SOMEONE ADULTS or KIDS WANTING TO PLAY CHICKEN. IS JUST AN EXTRA HEADACHE..

    • Audrey

      I know the facts first hand. The child was left in the care of a resident on Betty Jo for a birthday party. SHE allowed them to play outside. The boy was playing tag and was being chased, and ran into the street. He was taught and is reminded daily to watch for vehicles…but he is 7. Kids make mistakes. The parents were not present. Again, he was in the care of a friend. Technically the boy is “stable” but he has had multiple surgeries and more upcoming and a very long road to recovery.

      Where the child resides, there is little traffic and no transit buses in the area. Betty Jo is not the area he is used to playing in.

      I agree the blame game should not be the focus right now. But I’ve known the parents for a long time and they supervise their children better than this.

      I love and treat this child like my own, my son is best friends with him.
      Please keep little man in your prayers.

  • Ashley

    He wasnt playing chicken he was playing chase! Accidents happen…sad accident! Hope the boy comes out of surgery fine!

    • bobreal

      Anytime someone runs out in traffic or at a crosswalk they DON’T LOOK TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NO TRAFFIC THEY ARE PLAYING CHICKEN.. They are hoping that they don’t get hit….

  • Diane

    I work in transportation, and children are constantly walking out in the road i just dont understand why people dont teach their children not to walk in the road, it is a sad story

    • Michael

      I am not sure what types of vehicles you have had the experience of driving. You can find the horn a lot quicker than the applied brakes can stop a moving bus, (or my experience with 18 wheelers.) They take much longer to stop than a simple tap on the horn. All of that weight (mass) of the moving vehicle tries to keep moving forward even after the brakes are applied. It only takes a split second for an electrical signal to go from the horn to the sounder outside that everyone hears. (I realize this is not technical but it illustrates the point.) Accidents happen, I hope the child comes out okay after this. I also hope the bus driver comes out okay as well, as he’ll also have to live with the knowledge of the accident.

  • DLR

    Seriously…..if you took the time to flip the script from playing an innocent game of chase to playing an ignorant dangerous game of chicken then why didnt you take the time to think of the family reading this. First of all he was at a friends so his parents werent there and second of all he was playing & not paying attention so sure the parents can teach/preach all they want but kids are gonna be kids. This is/was a horrible accident & nobody was to blame & nobody is blaming anyone else except for the ones posting accusations on here…..maybe instead of wasting all your time on pointing fingers you should say a prayer for this sweet boy & his family who I know are going through a lot, as well as the driver!

  • cindy

    I know this little boy and his parents, I really don’t believe he was playing chicken. Chase or tag was the name of the game, prayers for the family would be nice,

  • Marilyn Harris

    I want to know WHAT mentality took this from an accident to PLAYING CHICKEN? It’s a 7 yr. old boy. Those comments are STUPID and sound like they are from IDIOTS!!! Especially the Bobreal, Who states he hopes the driver takes out a lawsuit. REALLY? That is such a stupid remark…..Sounds like a money hungry lawyer!!

  • A volunteer

    I agree this was a terrible accident and nobody should be pointing fingers as to who was at fault until all of the facts are known. But my question is why would parents let children play in or near the streets to begin with especially when there is heavy traffic and on a game day? It seems as if “common sense” has been forgotten and no longer used. Prayers for the child.

    • Sherry Southward

      No body should be held at fault. Some times these accidents just happen. I think the bus driver was honking and trying to stop at the same time. Children are children and their little minds are going to forget rules from time to time. He was at a friends house playing chase. Lets call it what it is an accident. Stop talking and start praying for all who is involved . I think this is the best way to handle it.

      • Cheryl McSweeney O'Neal

        You are right. It was an accident. Kids get so involved in their play that they forget what’s going on around them. He is only 7 and he didn’t want to be ” it “. If he was 16 and running in front of buses, that would be playing chicken. And I’m sure he Has been taught to not play in the street. I’m praying for everyone involved. This is the true definition of an accident.

  • Jon

    I honestly can’t believe there are so many dumb people in the world. Buses are big vehicles that take lots of time to come to full stop at any speed. Kids play and don’t watch what they are doing. Accidents happen. Pray for the family and pray for the driver of the bus, that person must feel horrible. Otherwise stop being so damn judgmental of a situation you know nothing about.

  • DDR

    I do know something about this situation. First off kids on this street are told very often not to play in the road because cars often speed down this road. Just look at the cops that often sit in wait of speeders because even they know that this is a concern. In addition UofA Transit Buses are included in the speeders on this street. If you do not believe then wait until this cools down then follow one onto the street. I agree that if the bus driver had time to honk they should have had time to slow down when SHE turned onto a street full of kids playing. This is a straight road not a curve on it so she could have clearly seen that their was NUMEROUS kids playing in the area. Lastly the little boy ended up at the back of the bus. If she was breaking when she first saw him, then he should no have been at the back of the bus. Look at where the little yellow cones are in the photo.

  • hi

    Cherlilyn, I have tried in vain to point out the poor writing often displayed on 5News to no avail. There is no pride. If there is an editor, they are just as ignorant. Welcome to Arkansas!

  • John

    The bus driver isn’t at fault. The child ran right out in front of the bus. The bus driver did not intentionally hit the child. The bus driver did everything possible to avoid the child. This is insanity.
    I don’t care who you are, you can not stop if sone one darts right in front of a moving vehicle. I ran over a huge black lab a few months ago and I did everything possible to avoid it. It did $5500 damage to my new Accord and I had to pay a $1000 deductible, so you thing I did that on purpose?

    Please focus on all involved and pray for the child to recover.

  • Mark J. Capalbo

    Who was supervising the children? The childs parents and the adults hosting the party should be held accountable. Were the parents familiar with the venue for the party? This was totally avoidable. I hope child protective services conducts a thorough investigation. Accountability needs to start with the parents before we look to blame anyone else.

  • Mark J. Capalbo

    I just read the other comments made. It is so typical of today’s society to say ” it is nobodys fault”. I have worked in industrial maintenance for 20 yrs, all accidents are preventable if you look at the facts. We want to blame the schools because kids can’t read, we want to blame McDonalds because we are fat, we want to blame the cigarette manufactures because we smoke.The degredation of the “family unit” is the root cause of a majority of todays social problems.

  • CW

    If anyone who lives on Betty Jo is reading this, please keep your children out of the street. I live on that street and see kids playing in the road all the time. I’ve even had to honk at one little boy because he wouldn’t move. Betty Jo is way too busy for your kids to play out there safely. Most of the apt homes have concrete places they can play or some also have backyards. I feel terrible for the kid, but I can’t say I’m surprised something like this happened.

  • Bystander

    Tragic. Tough boy: stood up after. Heroic response from individuals on the block got him to stay on his back until ambulance showed up. Driver of the bus was a chick.

  • Kaylee

    Ok look this child is my family!!!! He’s my cousin and his parents are NOT at fault for this I’m outraged that you would even say something like this. The bus driver should have known that this area is full of children as she drives it everyday she should of been paying attention better. You people are ridiculous blaming this on the parents!!!

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