The death of a six-year-old boy has left a Shreveport suburban community in shock, and now, residents have set up a roadside memorial at the site where he was tragically killed.
Brendan Houston, a first-grade student Herndon Magnet School, was dropped off at his bus stop after school last Thursday. Houston stepped off the bus to realize that his shoelaces were tied together, and when he crouched down to fix them, the school bus driver Debra Stevens didn’t see him on the ground and accidentally ran him over.
“I heard somebody say, 'Uh oh, oh, oh, oh,' like that," recalled neighbor Sara Ward. “Somebody was laying in the road. I thought maybe a child had passed out, or got knocked down. His shoelaces had been tied together and when he got off, you know, he was shuffling and he reached down in front of the bus to untie his shoelaces. She did not see him. The bus driver was out here, right here next to my little bridge just in hysterics, in hysterics.”
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The six-year-old student was rushed to a local hospital but unfortunately died of his injuries.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Brendan Houston, who was a 1st grader at Herndon Magnet School,” said Caddo Parish School Board spokesman Victor Mainiero in a statement. “The school will have additional counselors and staff in the morning and as long as is needed to take care of students and staff during this traumatic time.”
A makeshift memorial consisting of flowers and stuffed animals has been set up at the intersection where Houston died. Reports say that Houston had a twin sister and was “always smiling” before his untimely and tragic death. So far, it doesn’t appear that the bus driver has been or will be charged for the heartbreaking accident, and Houston’s grieving mother says she does not blame the driver for what happened.
"He wasn't paying attention because he was in his own world," said Brendan's mother Jennifer Houston. "That's how he lived. He didn't cause it, the bus driver didn't cause it, all the things surrounding it didn't cause it. It happened, it was an accident, and we'll never get him back, but he'll be in our hearts forever."