LUMMI RESERVATION - A Lummi elementary school student improved to serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after he was hit by a school bus Thursday afternoon, Jan. 10.
Jay J. Tom, 7, a Lummi Nation School student, suffered a broken pelvis when he was struck by the right front tire of the bus at 4:45 p.m. in the 4200 block of Lummi Shore Drive, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis.
The boy and his younger brother had just gotten off the bus and began crossing the street in front of the stopped bus. The driver, 56-year-old Thayer A. Phair, saw the younger boy hug his grandmother across the road and thought the older child was there as well, Francis said.
But the older boy had stopped in front of the bus and was bending over to pick up some papers he had dropped. The driver didn't see him as he began to move the bus forward, Francis said.
Jay was airlifted to Seattle in critical condition and underwent surgery Friday morning, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Troopers listed the cause as "inattention" on Phair's part. Charges are pending an investigation.
Lummi Communications did not have any information about the incident when contacted Friday.
The neighboring Ferndale School District issued a statement saying, in part: "The district has reached out and offered assistance to students and staff of Lummi Nation as needed. In the meantime, our caring thoughts are with the boy and his family. We know the Lummi Nation shares the same philosophy as the district when it comes to the safety of students."