'It's a miracle': 5-year-old girl survives being run over by school bus

Katie Mather

A security camera in a New York City suburb captured a horrifying moment that would fuel most parents' nightmares.

On Dec. 25, a 5-year-old girl was filmed running from across the street to board a school bus when the driver inexplicably started to drive away. The little girl was knocked over by the retracting crossing arm — a safety bar that extends forward to prevent front-of-the-bus child fatalities — and fell to the ground as the bus continued to move. 

The bus then drove over the little girl, who miraculously survived the whole ordeal. 

"I feel like it's a miracle," a neighborhood bystander told "Good Morning America."

Save for a couple of minor scratches and bruises, the girl is completely unharmed. Police are investigating why the driver didn't notice her crossing the street or hitting the crossing arm. According to "Good Morning America," the driver was given a ticket for "unsafe starting of a vehicle" as police further look into surveillance footage of the scene.

The driver, Gavriel Surkis, told police he had no idea he had hit someone.

Typically the biggest danger children face when boarding a school bus comes from other passing vehicles. The National Association State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services says that in 2018 over 83,000 motorists would illegally pass school buses on a single day.

In October, a fifth-grader in Ohio was nearly run over by an illegally passing car while stepping off her school bus. In the harrowing video, the driver is seen screaming at her to get back on the bus just in the nick of time, as the car zooms by. 

"I actually came in and started crying because I knew what could have happened didn't happen if my bus driver didn't call me back in," the student said. 

Then in March, a speeding semi-truck was recorded trying to pass a school bus that had stopped to drop off two children, but instead, the vehicle drove straight into the back of the bus. The two young kids were luckily already off the bus and running down the driveway to safety and were not injured. 

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