VIDEO: Putnam City School Bus Hitting Man In Wheelchair

Thursday, January 9th 2014, 7:09 pm
By: News 9

News 9 has obtained bus camera video of a Putnam City school bus crashing into a senior citizen on Jan. 7, 2014.

The crash happened at NW 54th and Portland, across the street from Deaconess Hospital. The victim, who was transported in critical condition, was still being treated at OU Medical Center late Thursday.

Two children were on the school bus at the time. Emergency responders say the children and bus driver were not injured. The victim, 66-year-old Don Walker, is a double amputee who was already facing serious health issues, according to his son. Good Samaritans rushed to Don's side moments after the crash.

1/7/2014 Related Story: Man In Wheelchair Critical After Being Hit By School Bus In NW OKC

"He was thrown about five feet toward my car, and I think that's the only reason that he made it," witness Denise Tidwell said.

Bob Mills SkyNews 9 HD video showed the school bus on top of Don's motorized wheelchair Tuesday. Tidwell says she believes the driver simply did not see Don. There is no crosswalk at the intersection, and bus camera video shows the sun shining bright as the driver made the turn with kids on board.

"Carrying around children, we have to be careful about how we're driving," the victim's son, Lyle Walker, said.

Lyle says he is upset over the entire situation. His dad has already been through one surgery and has at least one more to go. Don is dealing with a broken hip, broken femur and a possible head injury.

"He's tough," Lyle said. "He's really tough. He's already been through a lot though."

Witness Brian Likes works near Deaconess Hospital. He says with a senior citizen center nearby, the city needs to do more to improve traffic safety.

"There's several people in wheelchairs around here, and there [is no] crosswalk for them up here," said Likes. "That's the easiest way to get to [Deaconess] for them."

Family members say Walker is expected to recover from his injuries. Putnam City Schools released the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"A Putnam City school bus was involved in an unfortunate accident Tuesday afternoon. The thoughts and prayers of district officials are with the gentleman injured in that accident. The district will continue to provide extensive safety training to drivers with the intent of making school bus transportation as safe as possible for all." – Steve Lindley, District spokesperson.