Report: Bus That Hit Boy Was Speeding; No Citation Issued

The University of Arkansas Razorback Transit bus that struck a 7-year old boy on Saturday (Feb. 15) was traveling 10 mph over the speed limit, but the driver did not receive a speeding ticket or any other traffic citation, according to a Fayetteville Police Collision Report.

The bus, driven by Christina Razinha, 26, was going 35 mph in a 25 mph zone at 573 N. Betty Jo Drive when the child, Michael J. Lewallen, ran onto the street, according to the report. The speed limit was posted.

The boy received “severe tissue damage to both legs” when the front left wheel of the bus ran over his legs. The bus stopped before the back wheel could run over him, the report states.

Video shot from an on-board camera shows the bus was traveling 10 mph above the speed limit, according to the report.

“This is listed as a contributing factor in the collision,” the report states.

However, the boy “is shown to be primarily at fault for not yielding to traffic when crossing the roadway,” according to the report.

The decision to issue a traffic citation is at the officer’s discretion, said Sgt. Craig Stout, police department spokesman.

The responding officer is listed on the report as Cpl. Christopher Clardy.

The boy was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center and later flown to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where he underwent surgery this week, officials said.

The boy attends The Owl Creek School in Fayetteville, said 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 boy was listed in fair condition on Thursday (Feb. 20), hospital officials said.

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

Authorities at the site of the accident told 5NEWS the boy was playing chase with other children and ran onto the street.

“The bus honked its horn,” Sgt. Shannon Gabbard said. “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.”

michael hit by bus

18 comments

  • Lupe

    She’s not a very good driver, should of known not to speed around children, visible. Also if she uses that same road thru a daily route. Give her a citation!!!! Have proof look at the video camera.

  • AGT C

    Sounds like a double fault accident.I am not gonna blame the bus driver when somebody obviously wasn’t watching their child on a busy street.Parent’s that live on busy streets like myself should make children play in the back yard, not in traffic.Everybody speeds anymore I live in a 25 mph zone and a straight away and people drive 50 mph down my street even though speed limit posted.

    • Lupe

      The CHILD was seven years of age. Okay the woman old enough to drive who’s the adult here. Ticket the woman, and the child probably will have trouble with his legs. And as for your neighborhood, Do something about it!!!

    • misty

      I AGREE! when you live on a bus route you make your kids play in the back yard. Ive driven around town where houses have basket ball posts/goals mounted to the curb facing out into the street, never seen that before til i lmoved to ARK. But this makes me mad that the child was even playing by the street, he could of been killed. Prob wasn’t any parents home after school. The driver should of gotten a speeding ticket for going over the limit in a residential area.

  • Sarah 1

    The bus driver was clearly speeding, a traffic violation should have been given especially in a personal injury accident.
    I hope the next time I or anyone else is speeding, we are not ticketed as well. Fair is fair.

  • Have a nice day!

    She was a young woman and probably crying when it happened, the officer most likely fell for her tear show. But the law is the law! If it had been a 26 year old male speeding I bet he would have got that ticket…..Just sayin’

    You know the school zones that are 25 MPH, try speeding threw those 10 miles over you’ll get a ticket, but run over a kid in the street, no citation.

    I hope at lest he gave her a warning for next time she runs over a kid while speeding??

    • Madison

      I just want to say it was my friends little brother he was 7 years old he was being a kid do you really think he was paying attention and for that matter he will never be able to have children it completely crushed his groin so next time before you speak about a child have some heart I feel sorry for the kids who have to call you daddy that’s for sure

  • Sharon

    If the bus driver wasn’t speeding the kid may have been able to get out of the way in time! I think the police failed to properly do their job in not writing a speeding ticket to this driver!

  • Allen Strong

    Those kids were clearly visible from a distance that allowed the driver to slow down her approach to them, she did not let off the throttle until the accident, , , Clearly this is poor , careless & unattentive driving on her part, and a video to prove it , , , ,

    After all she is a paid professional driver with a CDL ( Commercial Driver License ) who must adhere to a higher level of driving skills with continuing education & training thru-out the duration of keeping this CDL valid .

    Shame on the authorities for not issuing at least one citation to this driver.

  • bob

    If the bus driver needs a ticket for speeding then the mother and father needs a child endangerment ticket for not watching there kids. A street is no place for a kid to play

  • SherryD

    Give the bus driver a ticket .. BUT ..also charge those parents who are ALLOWING the kids to play in the street with NEGLECT!!!
    Seriously! Who let’s their kids play in a busy street??

    • SherryD

      It pisses me off that parents want to blame others because they don’t want to be bothered with keeping an eye on their kids…they should have never been playing in the street to begin with… AND if they were taught ANYTHING BY THE PARENTS they would have known better…

  • tag your it

    At what time of day did this take place??? I don’t see it in the article. That’s usually an important piece of information.

    Looks like the kid was playing chicken with the bus, not a good idea as he found out.

  • no ticket

    At the time of the accident, it wasn’t dertermined if she was speeding. A ticket has to be issued at the present time of the accident. Her traveling mph was discovered after the fact, so a citation could not be given. Also, at the time of the incident, it was concluded that the boy ran out in front of the bus, failing to yeild to traffic. Speeding citations have to be done with the use of goverment owned technology such as raidars or with scientific calculations based off of evidence at the scene.

    I don’t know at which point the boy was hit, but there is a mathematical calcualtion to give a reference of a stop time and distance traveled. Considering this, the outcome would have been the same.

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