A 5-year-old girl who was nearly crushed by a school bus in Moreno Valley was in serious condition Tuesday as investigators revealed what may have happened to cause the accident.
After parking the bus near Box Spring Elementary, the female bus driver apparently walked to the back of the vehicle to activate a handicap lift. Two students were on the bus with her when, suddenly, the bus began to roll.
"The bus just started moving back, it broke through the gate," said elementary school student Fernando Lopez. "And then it hit the little girl. They made us face the wall so we wouldn't see what happened to the little girl."
A line of recently dismissed students managed to run away from the moving bus, but a 5-year-old girl was trapped beneath it and a metal gate.
She suffered a crushed pelvis, lacerated liver and a collapsed lung, officials said.
A parent and a special education teacher helped the principal give the little girl CPR until paramedics arrived.
"Right now our focus is on the girl and hoping she's OK," said Box Spring principal Sam Stage, "praying she's OK."
"It made a big noise when it hit the gate," said Fernando, a student who witnessed the crash. "It was kind of scary."
The bus driver is on paid leave pending the investigation, which is being handled by the California Highway Patrol.