A 13-year-old Detroit Public Schools student was killed after a school bus driver allegedly failed to activate the bus’s flashing lights and stop arm.
Zyiar Harris, 13, was reportedly crossing the street after disembarking from his school bus on April 6, when he was hit by an oncoming motorist. Harris was transported to a local hospital for treatment but died from his injuries four days later after being taken off of life support.
The motorist reportedly remained on the scene after hitting Harris. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that school bus driver Debra White, 65, an employee for contractor ABC Bus Company, did not activate the bus’ flashing lights and stop-arm to allow Harris to safely cross the street. White is charged with one count of second-degree child abuse and one count of failure to stop at the scene resulting in death. The charges were issued before Harris died and will be reviewed again upon receiving reports from the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, said Wayne County prosecutor Kim Worthy in a statement.
A GoFundMe post from Harris’ mother Cassandra Jones states that Harris, who had autism, was supposed to be de dropped off at the door of their home. “Unfortunately, he was let off on a busy street near our home by his bus driver who was responsible for him at the time,” the post states.
STN reached out to Detroit Public Schools for comment. “The district is deeply saddened and disturbed by the loss of our student. The bus company is cooperating with the district and the authorities,” a spokesperson responded.
White was arraigned on April 10 and given a $50,000 personal bail bond. A Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson explained that White was released from custody and would need to pay the $50,000 if she fails to appear in court.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for April 19 with the preliminary examination scheduled for April 26.