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


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