"I started screaming and yelling for the bus to stop."
A routine drop-off ended in quite a scare earlier this month after a school bus in Mount Pleasant, Ontario, drove several feet with a child trapped in its front door.
A home surveillance camera captured the moment Derek Tappen's five-year-old son William became trapped in the front door of his school bus as it drove off.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
Home surveillance footage.Courtesy of Derek Tappen
The father recalled the incident during his interview with Narcity.
"The doors closed in on him, trapping him on the bottom stairs with his legs hanging out, and the bus driver took off and dragged him about the length of a bus," Tappen said.
Tappen and his other son, immediately sprung into action to alert the bus driver.
"I started screaming and yelling for the bus to stop," he added. "Likely, some of the windows were open, and other kids on the bus heard, they started making noise, and the bus driver pulled over."
Despite being dragged several feet, William only suffered minor injuries.
"He just had a little skin abrasion on his leg right where the doors actually shut in on him," Tappen told Narcity. "Most of it's just emotional now."
When asked if William has taken the school bus since the incident, Tappen said his son has not.
"He does not want to get on the bus at all," he said.
Tappen also revealed that since the incident, he's been in contact with the Grand Erie District School Board and Voyago, the company that owns the school bus involved.
"They've been great," he said about the school board.
However, he also admitted to Narcity that he doesn't understand why there are no warning systems on the bus — akin to elevator or garage door sensors — and hopes doing interviews will get the word out.
How are the other parties involved responding?
The Grand Erie District School Board told Narcity in an email that it is aware of the "unfortunate situation" and is reviewing it in partnership with Student Transportation Services Brant Haldimand Norfolk and two other school boards.
"The bus company, Voyago, is currently conducting an investigation into the incident," the board stated. "Once that is complete, we will conduct our own investigation to determine if further actions are required to protect the safety of students."
Voyago also confirmed to Narcity that they are investigating the incident.
"We acknowledge and regret the occurrence of the incident in Mount Pleasant on November 1, 2022, involving one of our drivers and a school-age passenger. We also understand and share the concerns of the child's family," the statement read.
"We are currently investigating the circumstances that may have led to this unprecedented and serious incident in our operations," it adds.
OPP Brant County confirmed with Narcity that it has launched an ongoing investigation into the incident. However, they are providing no further details at this time.
Narcity reached out to Student Transportation Services Brant Haldimand Norfolk for further information but has not heard back in time for publication.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
- A Teacher Has Died After A Horrible Collision Between An SUV & A School Bus In Ontario ›
- Ontarians Warned To Postpone Travel & School Buses Cancelled As Major Snow Hits Some Spots ›
- An Ontario School Bus & SUV Crash Has Left 3 People Injured Including A Baby ›
- Morning Brief: Unpaid CERB Loans & Iran's Bold World Cup Stance - Narcity ›
- Toronto Police Investigate A Kidnapping At Scarborough Town Centre & These 2 Men Are Wanted - Narcity ›