A volunteer firefighter from Harrison, Arkansas, rushed to rescue a young child after she fell out onto the street from the back of a moving bus — and the camera on his dashboard was running the whole time and captured the incident.
The girl is now recovering in the hospital.
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Ryan Ciampoli, a licensed EMT and volunteer firefighter for Crawford County, was driving down Highway 65, as Fox News and other outlets reported, when the back door of the bus in front of him flew open. A four-year-old girl was literally “hanging onto it,” Fox News reported. She almost immediately fell out of the bus onto the street while the bus — without missing a beat — kept driving away.
Ciampoli “immediately” stopped his car and went out to help the girl, KLRT-TV reported.
Ciampoli said the child was initially unconscious but began waking up as he approached her, he told the station. “Obviously, you want to leave her [lying there] if she’s not in danger, but we’re in the middle of a state highway, so I couldn’t leave her” alone like that, he said.
As he approached her, he said, she started waking up. “He picked her up and carried her off the road,” the local Fox affiliate reported, then put her on a “truck bed in a nearby parking lot and got to work keeping her conscious and checking her vitals.”
“Then the shock kicked in … She started kicking and screaming and [said,] ‘Where’s my mommy?’ and things like that … stuff like that is really heartbreaking,” Ciampoli told the station.
Paramedics arrived soon after and promptly took the child to the hospital.
The child has a broken jaw, according to her mother, and “will need surgery” — but is expected to recover.
The mother told the local Fox affiliate that she isn’t blaming the bus driver but instead simply wants to stay focused on the girl’s recovery from her injuries.
Big questions remain, however: How did that back door of the bus fly open? Why wasn’t the girl strapped into her seat or better secured within the bus? Was there a bus monitor or other adult on the bus? And why didn’t the vehicle stop once the door opened?