POMPANO BEACH (CBS4) - As questions build over the bus accident that left a 14 year old Pompano Beach child hospitalized in a medically induced coma, one Broward County Commissioner is promising change.
“The most important thing we do is to make sure the young man gets the help he needs,” said Commissioner Marty Kiar.
Jerry Cunningham, 14, was trying to catch a Broward County transit bus on Sample Road last Friday to his middle school, when his arm became stuck in the door and the bus driver pulled away. As Cunningham fell in the street, two women are seen standing on the stairs boarding the bus, blocking the window view of Cunningham.
“It gave me some grave concerns,” said Kiar. ”It concerns me that people weren’t sitting down and unfortunately that was a big factor in the serious injuries that child sustained.”
The teenager sustained facial fractures, fractured ribs, a broken ankle and hasn’t woken up since the accident.
Soto and all bus drivers were warned in a memo in March that “no operator will move any bus with passengers in front of the standee line”.
Yet Soto is seen driving away with two women in front of the line.
After the accident the driver is heard yelling, “where did he come from”, clearly unaware that Cunningham was hanging onto the door.
“If it turns out at the end of the day there was wrongdoing I think he should be punished but right now there is an open investigation and to fire him now would be premature,” said Commissioner Kiar.
CBS 4 has learned that Soto has not ‘filed’ an accident report as required.
Kiar promises change.
“It is not acceptable to me. I’m going to bring it up at a commission meeting so we can ensure all our policies are followed,” said Kiar. “I think everything has to be on the table. We need to review our policies and strengthen them so the health and safety of our residents are protected in the future and this does not happen again.”
CBS4 tried to reach the bus driver Reinaldo Soto for comment at his Margate home.
A male voice could be heard inside the home shouting, “It was an accident.”
A woman came out the door and told CBS 4 ‘no comment.’