A mother and father from Heacham are urging schoolchildren to be careful after their son was dragged 150m down a road by a bus.
Lee Huckle, 11, had made his usual school bus journey, on the 434 Stagecoach service, from Alderman Peel High School in Wells to his home in Heacham after school had finished when his backpack got caught on the vehicle.
Mrs Huckle alleged that the bus driver drove away to continue taking schoolchildren home prior to the police arriving on scene, but Stagecoach strongly deny that this happened and that no blame can be apportioned to the driver.
Lee’s mum Rachael said: “As Lee was walking down the side of the bus, his bag got caught on the right-hand side of the bus, near the cooler.
“He was dragged from the Fox and Hounds pub bus stop to Poplar Avenue, which is around 150m, just hanging on by his bag. He was bounced from side to side causing injuries to his hips and legs.”
She added that Lee’s older brother Lewis, 14, as well as a number of other schoolchildren had ran after the bus in an attempt to alert the bus driver to what had happened.
After the bus stopped at Poplar Avenue, Lee was taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which his parents are glad to say was for treatment of minor injuries.
Mrs Huckle said: “It could have been so much worse. We, as parents to Lee, want people to be made aware of this, as it could happen to any schoolchild.
“We want them to be so much more vigilant when travelling to and from school on the buses.”
His father Stuart said that after the incident on Monday, October 17, Lee had had to take the rest of the week off of school, and has not really been himself since it happened.
Mr Huckle said: “He’s not having a very good half-term. He’s usually out being active and doing lots of things, but he hasn’t been doing that this week.”
He added that the family have received lots of support from others since they posted information about the incident online.
Zoe Paget, operations director at Stagecoach East, said: “The boy alighted the bus at Heacham Fox and Hounds pub and was walking down the side of the bus swinging his school bag.
“The strap of his bag got caught on a hinge of the bus and the student was dragged for a short distance until the driver, who had been checking in his offside mirror whilst moving off, spotted him and stopped the bus immediately and called emergency services.
“The driver waited at the scene until the emergency services instructed him to continue his journey to take the remaining students home. The boy was treated for grazes before being allowed home by the ambulance service.
“Safety is our absolute number one priority. The driver was subsequently interviewed by the police and no blame has been attributed towards him.”
A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said inquiries into the incident were ongoing.