CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An 8-year-old boy who was running to catch his bus was hit by an SUV northeast of Caledonia Monday morning, authorities say.
It happened around 7:30 a.m. near the intersection of Whitneyville Avenue and 84th Street SE in Caledonia Township.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said a Caledonia school bus stopped on Whitneyville Avenue to pick up the boy, but he wasn’t at his stop, so it pulled in to a nearby parking lot to get more kids.
“The 8-year-old, who was running late, decided to chase down the bus and in doing so, he had to cross over Whitneyville Road,” Kent County Sheriff’s Lt. Joel Roon said. “It was when he crossed over Whitneyville Road he was struck by a northbound vehicle.”
The speed limit on that section of Whitneyville is 55 mph.
“There’s no indication at this point (if) there was excessive speed. I don’t know that the driver had an opportunity to make any major evasive maneuvers,” Roon said.
The boy was airlifted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Late Monday afternoon, investigators told News 8 that while the boy’s injuries were serious, he will recover.
Still, Roon says there are lessons to be learned.
“One of which is parents — talk to your kids. The consequences of missing a bus may be significant at home but certainly not worth losing your life or being injured by being hit by a car, or any number of accident that can come from that,” Roon said.
He added that those talks should not be limited to kids.
“I want to be clear, there’s no indication that the driver did anything wrong here,” Roon said. “But we should all use this tragic situation as that reminder that when we see a school bus, that school bus is associated with kids and you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”