PENNSAUKEN, New Jersey (WPVI) — Pennsauken police are investigating after a teen riding a bicycle was the victim of a hit-and-run involving a school bus.
Police say it happened around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the 1600 block of Bethel Avenue.
“It’s really hard,” said the victim, 15-year-old Manuel Rodriguez of Pennsauken. “I could have died.”
According to investigators, Rodriguez was riding his bike to the Pennsauken Skate Park with friends when a bus driver clipped him with the front passenger side of the bus.
Police say the driver and the teens had a brief conversation before the driver took off.
“Something happened, she was aware of it, and she chose to leave,” said Captain Gerry Henkel of the Pennsauken Police Department.
Police say the driver had a duty to remain on the scene.
“You wouldn’t expect it from a bus driver,” said Henkel.
A witness at the scene took a picture of the driver’s tag and gave it to police.
Pennsauken police say the bus company, Yellow Bird Co. out of Philadelphia, is cooperating with the investigation.
Yellow Bird tells Action News they have suspended the driver pending the outcome of the investigation.
Rodriguez was overcome with emotion while describing the incident. He says the driver never stayed to help him.
“Knowing that a bus hit me… you just ran,” said Rodriguez.
“He flipped off of it, he almost went underneath,” said Ron Raymey of Pennsauken.
Raymey says he saw the bus driver stop and talk to the teens before she left.
“She went up to where the bump was, came back from the bump, [said] ‘Are you okay?’ And they all went up to the bus,” said Raymey.
Rodriguez’s mom says she doesn’t want any other parent to have to experience this pain.
“The driver shouldn’t be driving, I’m sorry. Because she carries children in the bus, she’s a bus driver. So why be out on the road if you don’t know how to drive?” she said.
With no bike and his arm in a sling, Rodriguez says he’s thankful to walk away with minor injuries.
“It’s ridiculous to see how the world is, but God is with me. Thank God I didn’t get killed,” said Rodriguez.
Police say no kids were on the bus at the time of the incident.
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