PARKER COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the death of a 10 year old boy who was run over by a school bus early this morning, just outside Springtown, in front of his home.
The boy, Haven Lee Norton, was running late to the bus stop across the street from his home.
As the boy approached, the bus driver deactivated her lights and began to move forward, investigators said.
The boy tripped and fell into the path of the oncoming bus as his mother watched from the porch.
Danny Smith, who lives next door, saw the accident unfold. He was drinking coffee on his porch, with his son, as they waited for the bus.
“I heard the mother next door screaming, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ Smith said. “I saw the bus run over son.”
Smith ran over to see if he could help.
“I got over there and I knelt down and I couldn’t do anything. He was gone,” Smith said. “I just kept thinking that could have been my kid. And I can’t imagine the pain she must be going through.”
Norton was pronounced dead at the scene.
“With the windows closed, kids on the bus talking, her training another driver, she probably never saw him or heard him until the mother let out the scream, when he actually got ran over by the rear tires,” said Smith.
Springtown superintendent, Mike Kelley, said the driver, whose name has not been released, had a clean driving record in the two years she had worked for the district. She has been placed on leave while the investigation continues and is said to be grief stricken over the accident.
Norton’s fourth grade classmates were notified of his death at school by counselors, who were made available to students, teachers, families and even the bus driver.
Many children broke down in tears at the news, Kelley said. The children and teachers also shared their memories of the little boy.
At the boy’s home, family members struggled to cope with boy’s untimely death, describing him as a kid who loved ride horses and four-wheelers and loved playing soccer.
He had recently been baptized at Country Cowboy Church in Bridgeport, where he was very involved in the church.
“He was just a precious little boy. He’s really sharp. He’s smart. We just have a lot of fun with him and we are just going to really miss him,” said Gary Wagener, Pastor of Country Cowboy Church.
The boy made an impact at the church, where church leaders knew there was something a bit different about the blond-haired, blue-eyed boy, an unusual maturity hardly seen in boys that age.
“He’d ask these real deep questions about Jesus and about God and about his faith, just very unusual,” Wagener said.
Wagener said they are praying that the boy’s mother remains strong for Norton’s two younger siblings.
They’re hoping her deep faith can help her through this devastating time.
“She’s got the normal response of ‘Why? Why did this have to happen? Why did God let this happen?’ Sometimes we don’t know why God lets things happen,” Wagener said.
The family is struggling to gather enough money for funeral expenses and has set up an account at Wells Fargo under the name Haven Norton.
There were four other students and two adults on the bus at the time of the incident, none were injured. The case remains under investigation.
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