School Bus Drags New England Kindergartner Nearly 600 Feet

By Jason Hall

May 16, 2022

school bus driver doing safety check
Photo: Getty Images

A New England kindergartner was dragged by a school bus after his backpack got caught in its door as it was closing.

Athena Lavigne told News Center Maine that she witnessed the terrifying incident take place as she waited for her 6-year-old son to get off the bus at the bus stop in Buxton, Maine.

"It was terrifying, as a mom, to be screaming down the street, chasing your son, thinking you’re gonna watch him die," Lavigne said through tears while discussing the incident with News Center Maine last Friday (May 13). "It’s just awful. It’s been awful; and I just keep seeing the same scene over and over again. It’s not going away."

The Buxton Police Department shared a press release regarding the incident in which they confirmed the 63-year-old driver dragged the child about 573 feet at a slow speed before the bus came to a stop.

"I was screaming for him to stop, to stop, to stop," Lavigne told News Center Maine. "I didn’t think he was ever going to stop, and I thought I was going to watch my son’s body go under the school bus."

Dottie Muchmore, who serves as the transportation director for Maine School Administrative District 6, said the driver was new to the district but underwent the mandatory 40-plus hours of training that all others must go through before starting the job.

"We have to be 100% focused at all times, especially during this process," Muchmore said, nothing that loading and unloading students was a critical part of all drivers' training process.

Superintendent Paul Penna confirmed the driver is currently on administrative leave as Buxton Police continue to investigate the incident.

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