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Teen hit by truck while getting off school bus expected to make full recovery

The student is expected to fully recover from his injuries, but parents and officials urge drivers to take caution when near buses.

GRAY, Maine — Wednesday was a tense day for the Gray-New Gloucester Middle School community. A student suffered serious injuries after he was hit by a tractor-trailer truck Tuesday afternoon after he got off his school bus and began walking home.

MSAD 15 Superintendent Craig King said he and other school officials have been in contact with the student and his family, and while it may be a long process, the boy is expected to make a full recovery.

King said the news sent a “shock” throughout the district Tuesday, but people are feeling better now that they know the student is expected to be OK.

“It’s a very tight community that looks out for each other,” King said Wednesday. “There are a lot of people organizing to help the student and his mom get through this crisis.”

Counselors and other support services were in place at Gray-New Gloucester Middle School on Wednesday for students, staff, and bus drivers.

A sign that reads “We [love] our bus drivers” was also hung outside the school’s main entrance.

“[Bus drivers have] probably, in many, many ways, one of the most important jobs in the school district,” King said. “It does take a special breed, and it is hard work.”

Bus drivers were also given the opportunity to speak with a social worker Wednesday, King said.

King also appreciated the quick action taken by local first responders and law enforcement officials Tuesday. He said they helped transport the injured student and his mother to the hospital and safely reunited the other students on the bus with their families.

Parents across the state were thinking about bus safety a little more after Tuesday’s news. Brett Williams of Sanford said he and his family were horrified about the situation in Gray.

“It’s just really scary," Williams said. "We saw yesterday what happens, [you] know?”

On Wednesday morning, Williams was making sure his middle school son got on his bus to school safely when he said he witnessed a close call with another truck driving too fast.

“The red lights [on the school bus] were on. My son was already getting on the bus when around this corner, a cement mixer comes and couldn’t stop and went right through,” he said.

Williams added this is not the first time cars or trucks have quickly passed by a parked school bus near his son’s bus stop on the corner of Grammar Road and Grammar Street. He even spoke with his children’s bus driver, who said she sees it often.

“If there’s anything that makes this better, [it's] the bus driver," Williams added. "I do trust her with my kids' lives."

Still, he said, parents having to worry about their kids getting on or off the school bus safely should be the last thing on their minds. Williams said the stretch of road near his house has gotten busier over the years, but drivers still need to know it’s a neighborhood and school buses make several stops in the area.

King added a reminder to all drivers across Maine to take it slow and be cautious when driving near or around schools or school busses, especially during morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups.

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