Girl Traumatized after Being Dragged by Bus

Date: September 24, 2009
Location: Sherwood, Oregon
Names: Withheld

A 5-year-old Sherwood, Oregon, girl who was dragged about 30 feet by a school bus has returned to her kindergarten class at J. Clyde Hopkins Elementary School, but her father says she will be haunted by the experience for the rest of her life.

The child, whose name is being kept private, got her backpack caught in the doors of the school bus on September 24, 2009, and was dragged alongside the moving vehicle. Her father, Carlos, who declined to make his last name public, told KATU.com that the driver never got out of the bus to see if the girl was injured.

A surveillance camera at a nearby landscaping business recorded the shocking event, showing the girl being dragged by the bus and her older sister running to help. Finally a child inside the bus ran to the driver, crying. It was only then that the bus driver stopped.

Although the youngster, thankfully, escaped serious injury, she was taken to the hospital and may have suffered a back injury. In addition, according to her father, the little girl was so shaken by the incident that may never ride another bus. He is considering filing a lawsuit.

Erin Prince, assistant superintendent for Sherwood Schools, told The Oregonian, “She was certainly scared. We’re very, very relieved there were no serious injuries.” The school district arranged for the principal and a counselor to visit the girl at her home the day after. Prince also said the bus driver, whose name has not been released, was fired.

When children are injured, the law can get complicated fast. For example, while the standard Oregon injury case must be filed within 2 years of the accident, the statute of limitations for children, on the other hand, is not so straightforward. ORS 12.160 steps you through the process for figuring out the statute of limitations. First, the regular statute of limitations applies. Second, it doesn’t start running until the child turns 18 years old. But, third, the statute cannot be extended more than five years, and fourth, it cannot be extended beyond the child’s 19th birthday.

Shulman DuBois, LLC, is located in Portland, Oregon, and serves clients in all Oregon cities and counties, including: Portland, Beaverton, Multnomah County, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tualatin, Troutdale, Sellwood, Corvallis, Salem, Eugene, and Albany.