TCAPS Student Hit By Truck Thursday Morning

A Thursday morning accident is serving as an unfortunate reminder for pedestrians and drivers to be cautious around school buses.

Around 7 a.m., a 17-year-old student from Traverse City Area Public Schools was attempting to get on the bus on Peninsula Drive, near McKinley Road, in Old Mission Peninsula. He was crossing the street when he was hit by a pickup truck.

“This is an unfortunate reminder of the realities of distracted driving or just not paying attention to those lights and the signs on a bus,” says TCAPS Superintendent, Dr. John VanWagoner.

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

“We just ask that people really use extra caution and understand this severity of what can happen if we don’t follow those things and today was an unfortunate reminder of that,” he says.

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

“They’re these kids on the bus that actually saw this,” he says. “I know that they’re nervous and just really upset to see that and there’s nothing more important than the safety of our children in our community.”

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

“My children ride school buses here in Traverse City Area Public Schools,” he said. “As a parent, I’m very worried that you know this could happen to my child and at the bus stop.”

School busses are fitted with lights, stop signs, front-extending arms, and security cameras. VanWagoner asks that drivers do their part to protect kids in the community.

“As both a parent and a superintendent I worry about that from the standpoint of the kids seeing that and worrying that it will happen to them in the future and any of the kids in the district for that matter,” said VanWagoner.

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

The Sheriff’s Office says they do not believe that speed, alcohol, or drugs are factors in the accident. The speed limit in the area is 35 miles per hour.