Driver charged after bus hits students near high school

BELTSVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police have charged a bus driver after his bus drifted away and hit a boy in Prince George's County, Md. on Monday morning.

Police say 61-year-old Arturo Roberto Harris of Clinton, Md. is charged with reckless endangerment, leaving a child unattended, and other traffic offenses related to the accident.

Panicked screams pierced the mundane morning commute in Beltsville, cutting through the traffic of Powder Mill Road on Monday morning.

Harris had left the bus unattended shortly before 7:15 a.m. with four students on board, according to police. The drifted across the busy road, hit an 8-year-old boy at a bus stop outside High Point High School in the 3600 block of Powder Mill Road and then landed in a ditch.

Waheeda Davis was walking her daughter to that same bus stop. "He was scared. I was scared, too," she said, "it was terrible."

Prince George's County Police officials say a Baltimore County auxiliary police officer witnessed the accident and rushed to help the boy. He pulled the child from underneath the bus and stayed with him until paramedics arrived, according to police.

The four students on the bus suffered minor injuries. They and the boy who was struck are no out of the hospital, say police.

Police believe Harris was heading to Dwight Eisenhower Middle and Oaklands Elementary schools when for some reason he left the bus.

"For reasons that still remain unclear the bus drifted across Powder Mill Road landing in (a ditch) after striking an elementary school age student," explained Corporal Nicole Hubbard with Prince George's County Police. The Corporal said police are continuing to investigate whether or not an emergency brake was applied.

Sources tell us the bus driver left the bus on the side of the road to "go to the bathroom."

The bus driver stayed on the scene after the collision.

Shortly before 9 a.m. the bus was towed to a school parking lot.

The investigation is ongoing.

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