7-Year-Old Boy Hit By UA Bus Identified, In Stable Condition

The 7-year-old boy who was hit by a University of Arkansas transit bus over the weekend is in the hospital in stable condition, officials said Monday (Feb. 17).

Michael Lewallen’s family said the boy was hospitalized after being struck by a bus in the 500 block of Betty Jo Drive in Fayetteville on Saturday.

Sgt. Craig Stout, Fayetteville Police Department spokesman, said at the time that the boy was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center in “bad” condition. He later was flown to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

The boy, who attends The Owl Creek School in Fayetteville, underwent surgery on Monday, according to his stepfather, Daniel Zalsman, who was at the hospital with Sabrina Zalsman, Michael’s mother.

Michael suffered no broken bones or internal injuries, but had damage to skin and muscle tissue, Zalsman said. The child had been using a breathing machine as a precaution, but the machine was set to be removed later Monday or Tuesday, Zalsman said. Michael opened his eyes and squeezed his family members’ hands after the procedure on Monday, Zalsman said.

The child’s father, also named Michael Lewallen, drove to Little Rock from North Carolina to join the family at the hospital, Zalsman said.

Crews at the site of the accident told 5NEWS the boy was playing chase with other kids and ran out into the street.

“The bus honked its horn. The child recognized the bus was coming and tried to get out of the way and run back into the yard but just wasn’t quick enough,” Sgt. Shannon Gabbard said.

Investigators said they do not believe speeding contributed to the accident.

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