‘I thought he was going to die’: Mother watches as 6-year-old son gets dragged by school bus

BUXTON, Maine — A mother in Maine says she was terrified her son would be killed when his backpack got caught while getting off the bus, causing him to be dragged.

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Athena Lavigne told WCSH that she was watching as her 6-year-old son, who is in kindergarten, got off the bus across the street from their home in Buxton, Maine.

“My son tried to get off. And he immediately started to drive off. I was waiting for his little body to go underneath the bus. I didn’t think the driver was going to stop,” Lavigne told WGME.

Lavigne said she ran after the bus.

“It was terrifying, as a mom, to be screaming down the street, chasing your son thinking you’re gonna watch him die,” Lavigne told WCSH. “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 school told WGME that the driver saw the mother and stopped, having dragged the little boy approximately 575 feet.

The transportation director for the school district told WCSH that the school bus driver was new to the district but went through the same 40-plus hours of training that is required of all drivers. The school’s superintendent told the station that the driver is on administrative leave while police investigate the accident.

“He’s got road rash down the side of his left leg,” Lavigne told WGME. “He’s been a real trooper. He’s really scared. Doesn’t want to ride the school bus anymore.”