A woman accused passing a stopped school bus and hitting a boy who was crossing a road to board it, claims she “did not see the bus”.
According to court documents, Crystal Buchanan, age 41 of Jonesborough, is charged with felony reckless endangerment serious injury and illegal passing of a school bus or failure to yield to a stopped school bus.
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Buchanan failed to stop for a bus that was waiting to pick up a child. The crash happened around 6:43 a.m on Tuesday on Highway 81 South. Buchanan was reported traveling south on the highway in a Mitsubishi Lancer when she struck the child.
Witnesses and the school bus driver told investigators the bus’ red flashing lights were on and the red stop sign was engaged.
As the boy ran out into the road to board the bus, authorities say Buchanan failed to stop and struck the boy sending him into a nearby ditch.
Documents indicate Buchanan told authorities said she did not see the bus or its flashing lights.
According to the victim’s grandmother Barbara Hutton, the victim, a 10-year-old boy, suffered a cracked fibula and has bruises and minor cuts.
Hutton said it’s been an emotion 24 hours for her family but she was able to leave the hospital for a couple of minutes to attend what was supposed to be Buchanan’s arraignment.
News Channel 11 witnessed Buchanan leave the courtroom just minutes before court began Wednesday.
Once court began, officials deemed that her presence was not necessary. Her court date has been rescheduled to January.
“I thought I saw her in the courthouse earlier and apparently she left,” Hutton said. “It’s not justice for him, they know how to play the system apparently.”
She said her grandson is still recovering at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. She said she wants this incident to be a wake-up call.
“People need to pay attention to the school buses and children,” Hutton said. “Because you’re looking at a 2,000-pound weapon going down the road and literally it is a weapon, it’s killing people every day and thank god it didn’t kill Donavon.”