Video shows young girl in wheelchair toppling to floor as school bus turns; district accepts blame

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SEATTLE -- The video inside a school bus shows 7-year-old Charlotte McCollum sitting in her wheelchair. As the school bus turns a corner, the wheelchair tips over and Charlotte slams to the ground.

“That chair is at least 90 pounds, I was terrified that her hand was going to be crushed," said her mom, Natasha Hall.

Hall added that it’s a fall that should have never happened to her special needs child.

“It was the tie downs that weren’t place down,” Hall said.

The wheelchair is required to be tied down to the aisle on four corners.

Documents from the school district say the bus driver admitted that she failed to lock down one of the ties.

On Friday. the Kent School District made no excuses, saying they were sorry.

“What you saw in the video was not dignified and it was not safe; again, we were wrong and we acknowledge that,” spokesperson Chris Loftis said.

“To me it almost feels like empty words,” Hall said.

Hall says this isn’t the first time her daughter has been injured at school.

Several months ago, Hall took the district to court after a school aide accidentally yanked Charlotte’s feeding tube, causing an implant in the girl’s stomach to be torn away.

“There were too many times my daughter’s feeding tube was damaged, causing her a lot of pain,” Hall said.

“The child deserves the best we can possibly give and that is what we are trying to do,” Loftis said.

The district says they are doing everything they can to improve Charlotte’s care at her school.

But Hall is fed up so she’s hired an attorney.

“I do feel like they are responsible for the medical bills and medical costs,” Hall said.

Hall added that the wheelchair was damaged and doctors put a neck brace on Charlotte as a precaution. On Friday, Charlotte had an MRI at Seattle Children’s to see if she has any serious injuries.

“She can’t tell us where she hurts so it’s very difficult, that’s why we are actually having the MRI,” Hall said.

She is concerned the fall could have caused more damage to her daughter, who cannot walk or talk. Hall said she’s upset her precious baby was harmed even more.

“She’s had so many accidents that weren’t recorded on camera,” Hall said.

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