ELGIN, Texas — A child was injured in an incident involving an 18-wheeler and a school bus on U.S. 290 east of Elgin on Tuesday. The child was released from the hospital on Wednesday, the hospital confirmed to KVUE.

A family friend says he's thankful 6-year-old Jairo Huitron is alive.

Elgin Fire Department officials first reported the child was injured around 4:17 p.m. as they were getting off the school bus. They had believed the 18-wheeler clipped the bus, which then struck the child.

But, according to the DPS, the 18-wheeler and bus did not make contact. When the 18-wheeler swerved to miss the bus, it struck the child while traveling into the ditch.

Semi truck 290
Photo by Van Gibson
Van Gibson

"We heard a loud screech, like loud, and then we hear an 18-wheeler horn, and that’s what got our attention," said Angelica Sanchez, whose boyfriend lives next to the family. 

Sanchez said she saw an 18-wheeler in the ditch outside.

"Thank God nobody was hurt," Sanchez said. "The little boy kind of had a busted nose; his lip was kind of numb. In Spanish, they said he lost two of his front teeth because he got kind of hit, but he didn’t get hit fully; he got hit by the corner."

The child was airlifted to Dell Children's with injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening, DPS said. Two other children were on the bus when the incident happened, but they're OK.

An Elgin ISD spokesperson confirmed the child is a student within the district. They said the bus was pulled over at a regular stop with its arm out when the 18-wheeler swerved out of the way.

DPS said video captured by cameras within the bus showed the bus driver hold the child back while he checked the mirror to make sure the traffic had stopped and the child was safe to get out. 

Officials also said the truck appeared to have bad brakes. A trooper told KVUE they were so bad the truck should not have been on the road in the first place. 

The trucking company, Roka Carrier LLC, says that's not the case and says they check vehicles every morning to do a safety inspection along with a yearly inspection required by the state.

DPS said it's happy the child suffered only non-life-threatening injuries and that it's important for any car to come to a stop when the traffic lights on the school bus are out. 

"We’re very fortunate, and that’s why it's so imperative we've done safety weeks with school buses," said Texas DPS Sergeant Dan Baker.

Elgin ISD Superintendent Jodi Duron released the following statement on Wednesday:

"One of our students was transported to the hospital yesterday after a vehicle struck him while he was exiting the school bus at his bus stop. We are grateful to our Elgin first responders for their immediate response and move to action during this moment of crisis and uncertainty. We are pleased to know that the student is doing well today and is expected to be released from the hospital. We extend our continued thoughts and prayers to the student and his family."

The school district will be discussing possible changes at the bus stop where the incident occurred.

Police said the driver of the 18-wheeler could face charges for failure to control speed or failure to stop for a school bus. Because the child did not sustain serious bodily injury, it might be just a Class C misdemeanor. 

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