Dramatic video shows the fall
'Tragic accident,' police chief says
A church bus driver will not face charges after a 4-year-old girl fell from his moving vehicle onto a busy roadway, police said Monday.
The accident was caught on video by the dash cam of a trained emergency medical technician driving behind the bus in Harrison, Arkansas.
“My heart sank,” Ryan Ciampoli, the medical technician, said on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday morning. “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen it in my life, in person. It didn’t look real. I had to do a double-take.”
Ciampoli stopped his vehicle and rushed to the unconscious girl’s aid. He said he moved her from the location because the pavement was hot and traffic made staying there dangerous.
The girl suffered a broken jaw and will undergo surgery. She was taken to a local hospital and united with her parents, then flown to a trauma center at Mercy Hospital.
The male driver was the only adult on the church-owned bus, which was taking children either to or from church, Paul Woodruff, chief of the Harrison Police Department, told CNN.
Other children told police that the girl went to the rear exit door, pulled the latch and opened it, Woodruff said, and then fell out. The children alerted the driver, who pulled over up the road.
Bystanders had called police by then. Emergency responders were on the scene when the driver called, Woodruff said.
The driver remained on the bus with the other children.
“The driver of the bus will not face any charges as this was just a tragic accident,” Woodruff said.