A father had to pull his young daughter out of the way of a landscaping truck as it jumped up onto the sidewalk to race past the school bus the girl was about to board in Groveland, Massachusetts, police said.
Groveland police allege a school bus had stopped to pick up two elementary school students on Tuesday when the truck driver, a 27-year-old Haverhill man, failed to stop behind it, instead driving up onto the sidewalk on the right side of the bus, sideswiping the rear of the bus in the process.
The man continued driving on the sidewalk before driving away on Salem Street toward Bradford, Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen said in a statement.
Officers responded just before 8 a.m. to the intersection of Salem Street and Sunset Circle. A man told police his child was about to board the bus when the truck raced past the bus on the sidewalk, forcing him to pull her out of harm's way.
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There were also two children aboard the bus at the time of the crash, police said, but no one was injured. They were later taken by another bus to the Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall Elementary School.
The department is seeking a criminal summons against the man, Gillen said, and he will be charged with leaving the scene of an accident/property damage, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, operating after suspension, marked lanes violation, and fail to stop for a school bus.
According to Gillen, Groveland police were able to identify the driver of the truck with the assistance of eyewitnesses, neighborhood home surveillance cameras, and traffic camera footage provided by the Haverhill Police Department. Police were able to identify the Rowley-based landscaping company the man works for by using the traffic camera footage.
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The company cooperated fully with police in identifying their employee involved in the hit-and-run, Gillen said.
"We were able to swiftly identify the driver of this vehicle thanks to the diligent investigation of Sgt. Steven Petrone, and the support we received from the Haverhill Police Department. This could have been a tragic crash, as a child was just about to get on the bus and had to be pulled out of the way of danger by her father," Gillen said in the statement. "We urge drivers to please be extra attentive around school pick up and drop off times and to always stop for a bus making a stop."
The man, whose name has not been released, will be summonsed to Haverhill District Court at a later date, Gillen said.