TCAP student hit by truck Thursday morning


A Thursday morning crash serves as an unfortunate reminder for pedestrians and drivers to be careful around school buses.

At around 7 a.m., a 17-year-old student from Traverse-area public schools was attempting to board the bus on Peninsula Drive near McKinley Road in Old Mission Peninsula. He was crossing the street when he was run over by a van.

“It’s an unfortunate reminder of the realities of distracted driving or just simply not paying attention to those lights and traffic signs on a bus,” said TCAPS Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner.

VanWagoner took a moment Thursday to discuss school bus safety now that the kids are back to school.

“We’re just asking people to be more careful and understand the gravity of what can happen if we don’t follow these things and today has been an unfortunate reminder of that,” he says.

There were high school and college students on the bus when the accident happened. VanWagoner says students who witnessed the incident will receive emotional support from social workers and support staff.

“These are the kids on the bus who actually saw this,” he says. “I know they are nervous and really upset to see this and there is nothing more important than the safety of our children in our community.”

VanWagoner is also a parent in the school district, as well as the superintendent.

“My kids take school buses here at public schools in the Traverse City area,” he said. “As a parent, I am very worried that you will know that this could happen to my child and to the bus stop.”

School buses are equipped with lights, stop signs, arms that extend out the front, and security cameras. VanWagoner is asking drivers to do their part to protect children in the community.

“As a parent and superintendent, I worry about this from the perspective of the kids who see this and fear it will happen to them in the future and all the kids in the district for that matter,” VanWagoner said. .

The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office said the teenager was conscious when deputies arrived at the scene. He was sent to Munson Medical Center for his injuries. There is no update on his condition yet.

The sheriff’s office says they don’t believe speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash. The speed limit in the area is 35 miles per hour.

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