Waterbury school district changing safety rules after child drag - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Waterbury school district changing safety rules after child dragged by bus

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A kindergartner dragged 200 feet by a school bus. (WFSB) A kindergartner dragged 200 feet by a school bus. (WFSB)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A young girl was dragged 200 feet on the front of a school bus in Waterbury last month.

Now, the school district said they are taking action to make sure something like that never happens again.

"I hear someone saying a kid has been hit by the bus and I'm like where is she,’” Waterbury resident Barbara Brinkley, who is the victim’s grandmother, said.

It was a frightening morning on Feb 12 for Brinkley when she learned her granddaughter 5-year-old Janiah Wiggins got trapped between the front bumper of the bus and the safety arm.

Eyewitnesses describe what happened to Janiah.

"She thought it was her bus so she ran out in front of the bus,” Waterbury resident Shanay Carraway said. “And I was yelling ‘Oh, my god where did the little girl go?’"

 The Waterbury kindergartner was OK.

But, the accident shed light on the potentially dangerous the corner of Oak and Woods Streets. There are six different buses for 43 children in the morning and afternoon and all at one intersection.

"It's busy.  It's busy,” Carraway said.

"It's just too many buses, too many different schools, they're all running around the same time,” Brinkley said.

To make the area safer, the school district immediately decided to add a crossing guard. 

They're also looking to see whether they can change some of the routes to make the intersection less congested.

"We decided we needed some supervision, which we believe would have prevented that particular incident,” Waterbury Schools Interim COO Gary Miller said.

Brinkley has decided not to file a lawsuit against the school or the bus company Durham School Services. She said having her granddaughter in one piece is all she needs.

"Some things you just can't put a price on,” Brinkley said. “I love this girl...I've been loving her since day one."

Durham School Services did send a reconstruction team to the intersection to try to figure out what went wrong.

They're also reviewing their procedures and driver training.

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