1st-Grader Dragged Nearly a Mile by School Bus in North Carolina, Family Says

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Chelsea Klepzig
Chelsea Klepzig

A 6-year-old girl was recovering with minor injuries after being dragged by a school bus for nearly a mile in Forsyth County, North Carolina.

The State Highway Patrol said the incident was dispatched as a “child drug by school bus” at 3:43 p.m. Monday, television station WGHP in Greensboro reported.

Chelsea Klepzig, a first-grader at Union Cross Elementary School, was dragged down Pine Meadow Drive by a school bus, according to her family.

Chelsea’s parents say her grandmother was waiting for Chelsea to get off the bus when the bus driver closed the door on her arm.

The girl hung onto the bus with her arm stuck in the door from Stonington Way Court to Pine Meadow Court, which is almost a mile, her parents said.

Her parents said her feet and legs were dragged as she held on. Had any less of Chelsea’s arm been stuck in the door, they said they fear she would have lost her grip and fallen under the bus.

Chelsea’s grandmother followed the bus to the next stop at Pine Meadow Court, which is when she saw the doors open and Chelsea fall to the ground, the girl’s parents said.

Chelsea's shoes after the incident.
Chelsea’s shoes after the incident.

Chelsea had minor injuries from the incident. Her parents described them as bruises and scratches.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools issued a statement regarding the incident on Tuesday, with the district’s chief of staff telling WGHP first and foremost he is “so thankful the student is OK and it was not worse.”

The bus driver was a substitute employed by the school system since 2000, the school district said. He has been suspended without pay and recommended for dismissal.

There were 17 students on the bus at the time of the incident. The school system said, as far as officials know, none of the other students witnessed what happened.

The school system sent out three memos: one to parents of students who were on the bus; one to parents of students who ride that bus but were not on it at the time; and another to the entire Union Cross Elementary School population.

The school system does training with drivers every August. All drivers had notes placed on their seats today reminding them of their training, according to the school system.

No charges have been filed, according to Highway Patrol, which said the incident is still under investigation.

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