WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- A 4-year-old boy was struck by a minivan and dragged a short distance while in a crosswalk in front of an elementary school in Westminster on Wednesday morning.
The boy, Max, suffered scrapes to his head and ears, third-degree burns on his leg from the car's exhaust pipe, and bruises all over his body.
Max was walking to preschool at Skyline Vista Elementary School in Westminster with his aunt and cousins when a driver made a turn into the crosswalk where they were walking.
Max was struck by a minivan, dragged a short distance while in the crosswalk, and pinned under the vehicle.
He is in pain but said he’s excited to go back to school as soon as he can.
“When you walk, a truck can get you,” the boy said from his home Wednesday.
“He was dragged, I'd say at least 10 feet from the crosswalk,” said school bus driver Ted Chavez, who was the first to run over to help after the accident.
“His head was on the pavement and the car was on top of his head."
Max’s mother, Diana Anchondo, said she was trembling when she got the call at work early Wednesday morning. The only question she asked is if her son was alive.
She said she doesn’t blame the driver, but that Max still doesn’t understand why he was run over when he was doing everything right.
Now, Anchondo and Chavez are pleading with the public to be more careful in school zones. Chavez, a bus driver for more than 30 years, said he sees it all on the road.
“You see people on the phone not paying attention. You see people texting,” Chavez said.
They now want to make sure what happened to Max doesn’t happen to another child.
“It's not worth it. If it was your child, you know, put yourself in her shoes, you know. Pay attention,” Chavez said.
Max will have to have skin taken from his back and grafted onto his leg but is expected to make a full recovery. He isn't sure how long he will be out of school.
The driver was cited for careless driving resulting in injury and failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
The woman was dropping off kids at the school and had children in the car with her when the accident happened.