‘She chose to leave’: School bus driver flees scene after hitting teenager on bicycle, police say

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. — Police are investigating after a school bus hit a teenager and then left the scene before officers could respond.

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The Pennsauken Township Police Department said in a news release that the teenager was riding a bicycle when he was hit by the bus. The teenager was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for what police said were “minor injuries.”

The victim, Manuel Rodriguez, told WPVI that he was on his way to a skate park with friends when the front passenger side of the bus clipped him.

“It’s really hard,” Manuel told WPVI. “I could have died.”

Officers said in the news release that the driver initially stopped after hitting the teenager, but then left before police arrived.

“Something happened, she was aware of it, and she chose to leave,” Pennsauken Police Department Captain Gerry Henkel told WPVI.

Manuel’s mother, Maritza Rodriguez, told WCAU that there was no question the driver knew what had happened.

“When she knocked my son down, it seems she noticed, she stood up, got out of the bus, asked if he was OK. But when my son told her he was hurt, she got on the bus and sped up.”

A witness at the scene took a photo of the bus’s license plate and gave it to police, WPVI reported.

Investigators told WCAU that the bus company and driver have been identified and are cooperating with the investigation.

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