Bus driver charged after child dragged nearly a mile last month

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — The 78-year-old who was driving the school bus that dragged a first grader for nearly a mile in Forsyth County last month has been charged.

Reuben Kelby Hash Jr., 78, of Winston-Salem, is charged with careless and reckless driving, Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O’Neill said Wednesday evening.

The incident happened on Dec. 7, 2015, on Pine Meadow Drive in Forsyth County.

According to Highway Patrol, the incident was dispatched as a “child drug by school bus” at 3:43 p.m.

Chelsea Klepzig, 6, a first-grader at Union Cross Elementary School, was dragged down Pine Meadow Drive by her school bus.

Chelsea’s parents say her grandmother was waiting for Chelsea to get off the bus when the bus driver closed the door on her arm.

“I had to follow him. I kept flashing him to stop, stop because I didn’t see her feet anymore,” Estrella Klepzig, Chelsea’s grandmother, told FOX8 last month. “[He] didn’t even give her a chance to move. She was still in the door.”

The girl hung onto the bus with her arm stuck in the door from Stonington Way Court to Pine Meadow Court, which is almost a mile, her parents said.

Her parents said her feet and legs were dragged as she held on, adding they were happy she didn’t have any less of her body stuck in the door or they fear she would have lost her grip and fallen under the bus.

Chelsea’s grandmother followed the bus to the next stop at Pine Meadow Court, which is when she saw the doors open and Chelsea fall to the ground, the girl’s parents said.

Chelsea’s parents said the bus driver was supposed to wait for her to cross in front of the bus and to the other side of the road.

Chelsea had minor injuries from the incident. Her parents described them as bruises and scratches.

Hash was a substitute bus driver employed by the school system since 2000. He resigned on Dec. 9, 2015.

Hash is scheduled to appear in court March 31.

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