Teen struck getting off school bus speaks out
March 9, 2016
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Stepping off the school bus Monday evening, 15-year-old James Gibson didn't know he would be stepping into danger.
"I watched the truck hit me and went down on the blacktop," James said. "I'm gonna die. That's all I could think was I'm gonna die."
James and a 10-year-old girl were struck by a logging truck while they were getting off the school bus on state Route 152 in Lavalette. The driver of the truck told investigators he swerved to avoid hitting the stopped bus and instead struck the two students.
Neither of the students suffered major injuries, but Gibson said he was glad he was hurt worse than the other victim.
"I'm glad it was me who that went off first because that little girl would've been hurt worse than I am," James said.
James' father, James Dave Gibson, is a former Marine, but he said nothing shook him up like the call he received Monday.
"When he started reliving the event and telling me step by step yeah, that was hard," Dave said.
James said he won't be going back to school until Monday, but he wishes he's looking forward to things going back to normal.
"I'd like to go back this week but I ain't allowed," James said.
West Virginia State Police are investigating the incident. According to police, the driver of the log truck has been cited with several misdemeanor charges.
According to state police, the driver was cited with failure to maintain control, passing a stopped school bus and several undisclosed equipment violations.
According to the Lavalette Fire Department, the students were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injures.
Parents and classmates are saying prayers of thanks after an accident they say could've easily been deadly.
"I thank God it wasn't worse," Ben Marcum said. "It could've been a lot worse."
The accident happened right in front of Marcum's house on state Route 152 in Lavalette.
Marcum's daughter Abigail was about to step of her school bus. She says she was on the last step when she saw a log truck go zooming past her.
"It just flew by me," she said.
The driver of the log truck told investigators his truck suffered a mechanical failure. He saw the bus ahead of him, but he couldn't stop. According to the Lavalette Fire Department, the truck driver avoided hitting the back of the bus by swerving to the right onto the shoulder and hit two students.
"It made my heart scared, made my heart pump really fast," Abigail said.
The truck also smashed into a parked van. Inside that van was a mother and her infant. They were taken the hospital but are expected to be OK.
Abigail says the two students who were hit were on the ground but alert and talking.
"He was sitting down pretty scratched up," Abigail, who's in 7th grade, said. "I talked to the boy to see if he was OK. He was."