The family of a 4-year-old girl from Harrison who fell from a moving church bus on April 19 issued a statement through their attorney yesterday, asking for privacy as the investigation into the incident continues. The family said the girl is still receiving medical care related to the incident — caught on an EMT’s dashboard camera — in which she opened the back door of a moving church bus and was flung to the pavement, with the bus driving away.
The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. April 19 on Highway 65 in Harrison. According to police, the girl, whose name has not been released, was riding with 10 other passengers near the back of a small bus owned by The Christian Life Center, a church in Harrison, when she opened the rear emergency door and fell out. Police said the bus was being driven by the pastor of Christian Life Center.
Ryan Ciampoli, the EMT and volunteer firefighter whose dashcam captured the fall, stopped and rendered aid to the girl until help arrived. She was taken to North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, then transferred to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO. She suffered scrapes and a broken jaw that required surgery. At the time of the accident, police told the Harrison Daily Times that there would be no criminal charges filed against the pastor who was driving the bus.