Little boy killed after getting off school bus

Thursday, April 18th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A 7-year-old boy is dead after being run over by his school bus. The tragic accident happened Wednesday in Warner which is just south of Muskogee.

News on Six reporter Steve Berg visited the community and says the community is in shock. It's a small town, one of those towns where everybody knows everybody. It's hit them very hard.

The accident happened outside the boy's grandparent's house on a rural road outside of Warner. The bus driver dropped off three kids, including 7-year old James Allen Goodreau, he went by the name Allen.

Allen's grandparents were on the opposite side of the street, and police say he was crossing in front of the bus when the driver ran over him. It's not clear why the driver failed to see him, but police say the driver was not aware what had happened.

The local police chief caught up with him a few minutes later and told him about the accident. Allen's family is obviously devastated, but his grandfather also expressed sympathy for the bus driver. Bob Hammans, victim's grandfather: "The man who was driving the bus, he's a good man, he loves kids and everything, it was just a horrible coincidence that shouldn't have happened and it did, and nobody should hold it against him."

The school superintendent says the driver, Phil Ross, is a retired farmer and has been driving school buses for Warner for about 3 years.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still looking into the accident, and they will work with the District Attorney's office to figure out if any charges are warranted here.