‘I thought the worst’: N.B. boy recovering after being struck while boarding bus

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Five-year-old recovering following collision while boarding bus
WATCH: A five-year-old boy is recovering following a collision while boarding a school bus. His mother and bus drivers alike are calling for stricter penalties. Callum Smith reports – Nov 30, 2018

A five-year-old boy from a New Brunswick community outside Moncton is back home in recovery mode after he was struck while boarding a school bus.

Kaleb suffered a broken leg as well as lesions on his spleen as a result of the collision. Police charged a driver under the Motor Vehicle Act for failing to stop for a bus while red lights were flashing, a violation that has a $292.50 fine.

Kaleb (left) with his mom, Natasha Goodwin, who says she’s thankful he’s alive. Callum Smith / Global News

In Prince Edward Island, newly-announced changes will ramp up the penalties for that same violation. Starting Dec. 8, motorists in that province will be docked 12 demerit points, have their license suspended for three months, along with a fine of up to $5,000.

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“I wish that all provinces would do this because it’s got to be more serious,” says Natasha Goodwin, Kaleb’s mom.

Goodwin says her son has had a few nightmares since the collision and finds himself in pain with gaps in timing of medication.

Local bus drivers also agree, claiming the fines should be stiffer in New Brunswick.

“We need more support from the government,” says bus driver Krista Duguay. “The fines are not high enough, $295 is not anywhere near what that child’s life is worth.”

Krista Duguay, who is a school bus driver, says the New Brunswick government has to crack down and stiffen penalties for those who fail to stop for a school bus with stop lights flashing. Callum Smith / Global News

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety says they’re reviewing the changes announced in P.E.I., but so far no decisions have been made on possible changes locally.

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Meanwhile, the Anglophone East School District says they receive reports of approximately 10 vehicles passing buses with red stop flashers on.

Goodwin says she’s had to take time off work to care for Kaleb, leaving a financial impact on the family. She says it was a traumatizing experience for all involved, including her 8-year-old daughter, who was at the bus stop when her brother was struck.

Goodwin says card from friends, family and classmates have been coming in, along with support from Kaleb’s school. Callum Smith / Global News

Kaleb’s been receiving cards and gifts since the collision from friends, family, classmates and more. He’s also having a snowsuit donated to him from a local business, Goodwin says.

But when all is said and done, Goodwin says she’s just happy her son is alive.

“I’m glad I’m holding him right now,” she says. “I thought the worst.”

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Kaleb is expected to get the brace off his leg Jan. 8, and doctors are hoping for a full recovery.

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