A 14-year-old Florida boy is in critical condition after getting run over by a city bus he was trying to catch. Jerry Cunningham, of Pompano Beach, got his arm stuck in the door of a Broward County Transit bus on May 10 and fell under the back wheels as it pulled away from a stop, local ABC 10 reported. His mother was a few yards behind him. Horrified passengers screamed for the driver to stop as the boy disappeared beneath the vehicle, surveillance video showed.
The driver, Reinaldo Soto, 55, appeared to be unable to see the boy because two passengers were blocking his view. The Broward County sheriff was investigating the incident to see if the driver was at fault. Soto, who has been driving for more than a decade, was placed on administrative leave, ABC 10 reported.
According to witnesses and the video, as the bus was making its stop on Route 34 around 9 a.m., passengers told Soto that a “runner is coming,” meaning someone was sprinting to catch it before it left. The video showed Cunningham reaching the double doors just as they closed. As the bus pulled away, he could be seen running alongside it, banging on the doors with his hand. As one rider appeared to signal to Soto that Cunningham was trying to board, Soto raised his hands and shrugged. The boy kept up for several seconds before falling under the 20-ton vehicle.
The bus stopped, and Soto and several riders ran to help the boy and his mother, who saw her son fall. One rider told ABC 10 that Soto ignored her pleas to stop the bus before the accident. “I told the bus driver to stop and he wouldn’t and the child fell under the bus,” the rider told ABC 10. Cunningham suffered fractures to his face, ribs and ankle and was in a medically-induced coma at Broward Health Medical Center, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper reported.
Driving records showed Soto has been in a handful of minor accidents before, none which resulted in injuries.