MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - According to Columbia Police Chief Jim Kinslow, Jasper McKinney,21, is now facing a felony charge of meeting or overtaking a school bus.
Kinslow says the incident happened Tuesday afternoon when McKinney struck a 13-year-old Columbia boy with his car while the child was exiting the school bus.
"The bus was headed east on Broad Street, and the driver came off on Highway 44, which is also known as Sumrall Road, and was headed west on Broad Street," said Kinslow.
Kinslow says McKinney was not passing the school bus, but instead hit the boy straight on. McKinney did not leave the scene.
"The driver of the vehicle did stop at the scene and try to render aid he was not a leaving the scene or anything like that," said Kinslow.
Kinslow added Columbia Police arrested McKinney on the scene after recognizing him as a known suspect on Grand Larceny charges.
"It was determined while on the scene one of the officers recognized him, and realized we had outstanding warrants on him on another case. So, he immediately took him into custody," said Kinslow.
The victim's father Jim Cagle was parked nearby to pick up his kids due to the heavy rain yesterday, and he witnessed the whole thing.
"I saw the bus approach from down the street there with the lights on. They had the yellow lights followed by the red lights . I was preparing the car getting the doors unlocked, preparing a place for them to jump in and I looked over and that is when I saw ...saw what happened," said Cagle.
Cagle says what he saw stunned him.
"An explosion. It was like debris flying through the air. There were shoes, books and James was in there. My daughter missed the car by a matter of inches. She was just a head of James," said Cagle.
Cagle says when he ran over to his son he the boy was not moving and unresponsive. Cagle says he thought his son was dead.
"And shortly there after there was a groan followed by dad is this a dream. He said that several times," said Cagle.
Cagle added McKinney stayed to help with his son, and Cagle says McKinney staying was a mature act considering the additional charges McKinney faced.
"That was a very responsible thing for him to do. I do want justice to take its course but I don't want any hatred or vindictiveness involved in this, but I do want to ensure that this doesn't happen to anymore kids," said Cagle.
Cagle said his son is still recovering from a concussion and broken bones at Marion General Hospital.
"His right humorous is broken the bone between your elbow and your shoulder, and we found out later last night his pelvis is broken," said Cagle.
Cagle says he doesn't know how long his son will remain in the hospital, but he is in good spirits. Cagle added he wants people to be aware of turning on the lights on vehicles when it rains. Cagle says he feels that if the lights would have been on while McKinney was driving that it would have made a difference.