The mother of a Toronto-area girl who walked away from a terrifying road incident physically unharmed is urging motorists to be more cautious around school buses and areas where children are at play.
On Sept. 29, 10-year-old Rebecca Hillier got off her school bus with her peers on a residential road in Pickering, Ont.
Security camera video from a nearby home shows a number of children crossing the road after disembarking. The bus driver then deactivates the stop sign and guard rail on the side of the vehicle, seconds before the girl steps onto the road.
Hillier is halfway across the street when a car drives by, narrowly missing her, but coming so close it actually clips her backpack.
Rebecca’s mother Melissa, told CTV Toronto her daughter was frightened by the incident. “She was screaming and crying. I couldn’t get her to talk,” she said.
When her neighbour showed her the video, Melissa was in disbelief.
“You never want to see that split-second where your child could have been injured or killed,” Melissa said.
Melissa phoned Durham Regional police and officers interviewed everyone involved in the incident, including the drivers of the bus and car, both of whom were very shaken up.
Police say many things went wrong in the incident. For one, the driver of the car should have slowed down, and Rebecca should have checked before crossing the street.
Police say the bus driver may also need more training to ensure bus protocols are being followed.
However, nothing illegal happened for charges to be laid, police said.
In a statement, school bus company Stock Transportation said the safety of their young passengers is their top priority.
“We are sharing this incident with all of our drivers as a safety reminder,” the statement read.
And Melissa has a message for motorists: “Pay attention. Slow down on the roads. When you see a school bus, it indicates there are young children somewhere.”
With files from CTV Toronto’s Naomi Parness