Bus driver charged after boy killed while crossing street in Detroit: ‘This could have been prevented’

Bus driver accused of not activating lights, leaving scene

The family of a 13-year-old boy who was struck and killed while crossing the street is speaking out after the bus driver was charged. The driver, Debra White, is facing charges after police say she failed to turn on the safety stoplights on the bus. Zyiar Harris, 13, of Detroit, was struck before 5 p.m. Wednesday (April 6) in the area of East Nevada and Healy avenues.

DETROIT – The family of a 13-year-old boy who was struck and killed while crossing the street is speaking out after the bus driver was charged.

The driver, Debra White, is facing charges after police say she failed to turn on the safety stoplights on the bus.

Zyiar Harris, 13, of Detroit, was struck before 5 p.m. Wednesday (April 6) in the area of East Nevada and Healy avenues.

Police said Zyiar Harris was struck while trying to cross the street after getting off a Detroit Public Schools Community District bus. Zyiar Harris died on Sunday, police said.

Original report: Bus driver didn’t activate stop lights for 13-year-old Detroit boy who was killed by car, police say

Harris’ mother Casandra Jones spoke about her son with Local 4.

“I don’t know what to say,” Jones said.

Micah Neal is Harris’ godmother.

“The pain don’t describe how much we’re going to miss Zyiar. Nothing can describe how much we’re gonna always remember him,” Neal said.

Harris was killed after school, less than 50 yards from the family’s front door.

“All this could have been prevented if she would have just did one turn, one turn and and brought him him straight right here,” Neal said.

Police said the bus driver did not activate the stop lights and stop sign so Harris could cross safely. Prosecutors say White drove the bus away from the scene after Harris was struck.

“What was she thinking?” Neal said.

The owner of ABC Bus Company did not comment on this case.

“Something needs to be done about the whole transportation company,” Neal said.

On Sunday, loved ones held a memorial for the 13-year-old. He was remembered for his impeccable memory and as a talented singer and dancer.

“It was beautiful yesterday, it was so many people out here. We had so many people. Everybody came,” Neal said.

The heartbroken family is also rallying around Harris’ 12-year-old sister. She waited outside for her brother and witnessed the crash.

“She didn’t even see the car, he was flying so fast,” Neal said.

“She thinks it’s her fault, but it’s not her fault. It’s the bus driver’s fault,” Jones said.

White has been charged with second-degree child abuse and failure to stop at a scene resulting in death.

Read: More local crime coverage


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.