NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — A 7-year-old southwest Idaho boy struck by a school bus as he walked to class Tuesday morning has been flown to a children's hospital in Utah where he's in critical condition.
The first-grader was in an unmarked crosswalk when he was struck in Nampa, a small city about 20 miles west of Boise, police Sgt. Joe Ramirez said. He was walking to school with an older brother.
The boy's aunt, Rashell Okrakel, said the bus stopped for the older brother, but it then began moving, hitting the younger child. The impact threw the 7-year-old several feet and knocked him unconscious, she said.
Okrakel said that the boy suffered a fractured skull and was in in a coma, though she didn't know if it was medically induced. He had a broken shoulder, arm, leg and ribs, she added. Other injuries included a ruptured spleen and two bruised kidneys, Okrakel said.
Ramirez noted that the boy was alert, awake and crying when officers arrived. He was taken to a Boise hospital and then flown to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, where a spokeswoman said he was in critical condition. She said she wasn't authorized to provide additional information without the family's approval.
The collision is under investigation, and no citations have been issued to the 75-year-old driver. Neither police nor the bus driver's employer, Brown Bus Co., would release her name.
Brown Bus operating manager Brent Carpenter said the driver is distraught and has been placed on paid administrative leave for now. Carpenter said the company has launched its own investigation, and would wait to see what it and police find before acting further.
Carpenter said the aunt's description of the accident was inconsistent with his understanding of what took place, based on the evidence he saw and his conversations with the driver. But he declined to say what he thinks occurred because the investigation is still underway.
"The situation is very unfortunate, but it happens so quickly (the driver) didn't have any time to react," Carpenter said. "It's one of those that could happen to anybody, whether you're in a bus or a personal vehicle."
Buses have many mirrors and more vantage points than cars, but they still have blind spots, he said.
The boy attends Centennial Elementary School, Nampa School District spokeswoman Allison Westfall said.