Jerry Cunningham has been in the hospital since a May 10 bus accident left him with serious brain damage.
Cunningham was trying to stop a Pompano Beach bus when his hand got trapped in the door and the 14-year-old was dragged alongside the vehicle for about seven seconds. Video captured the traumatic accident, including passengers inside the bus yelling for the driver to stop.
Along with fractures to his ribs, ankle and face, Cunningham suffered brain damage that has left him with cognitive disability. At Broward Medical Center, he was placed in a medically-induced coma, received a tracheotomy, a feeding tube and his jaw was wired shut. He was moved to Jackson Memorial Hospital earlier this month.
Cunningham is unable to speak in complete sentences, has no short term memory and cannot walk due to his ankle, which will require more surgery.
Cunningham's mother, Lilliam, was with her son at the time of the accident and has been by his side at the hospital since the accident.
The Broward Sheriff's Office is still investigating the case, and said charges will be filed if warranted. The driver of the bus, Reinaldo Soto, has been suspended without pay for 15 days and demoted. Passengers were heard screaming for Soto to stop as he pulled away with Cunningham trapped, reaching speeds of 18 miles per hour before he stopped.
Bus accidents can be caused by a variety of factors;
- Driver negligence.
- Poor maintenance of buses. Bus owners are held reliable and are accountable for the bus accident.
- Other causes include bad weather conditions, faulty emergency exits and driver errors.
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Source: Sun Sentinel, "Parents struggle to pick up pieces after son hit by bus," June 24, 2013.