Baltimore County boy still feeling effects of his fall from a school bus

He says he has headaches, no recollection of tumble

September 23, 2004|By Sara Neufeld | Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

His head is visibly swollen, and it's pounding. He's tired, and he's seeing double.

And he doesn't remember what happened.

Just out of the hospital, 12- year-old Sedrick Alexander Bailey made his first public appearance yesterday since falling out of a moving school bus Sept. 7 in the Windsor Mill area of Baltimore County.

Flanked by his parents at his attorneys' Pikesville office, the Old Court Middle School pupil wore white sneakers, jeans and an oversized blue- and green-striped button-down shirt. He sat with his face in his left hand for most of the news conference. He answered only one question, about how he was feeling.

"I'm tired right now," the seventh-grader said. "I see double vision. I'm not ready to go back to school. I have headaches."

Sedrick's attorneys said he remembers going to sleep the night of Sept. 6, and waking up in a hospital, but nothing in between.

The boy fell out of the bus at Coronado and Kenbridge roads, less than a block from his home, as the bus headed south on Coronado Road. Police and school district officials have said that the bus had passed Sedrick's usual stop, but his parents said yesterday that he normally got off two blocks past the intersection where he fell.

Children on the bus were so rowdy that the driver, 81-year- old John Snyder Foster Sr. of Randallstown, did not realize what happened and kept going, police have said.

Baltimore County police concluded this week that Sedrick was not intentionally pushed from the bus, ending their investigation into the incident. No charges were filed.

Sedrick's attorneys, Joanna S. Pharr and Ilona M. Fisher of the firm Weinstock, Friedman & Friedman, said at the news conference yesterday that they will continue investigating what happened. They said they want to see school district officials and the company that operated the bus, Woodlawn Motor Coach, held accountable, though they do not yet know whether they will file a lawsuit.

"Our children are in danger if something doesn't happen to make sure these buses are controlled," Pharr said. She said the driver should have pulled over and stopped as soon as the children got out of control.

Foster could not be reached to comment last night. Woodlawn Motor Coach has referred all questions to the Baltimore County school district. School district spokesman Charles A. Herndon said he could no longer comment on the case because of the possibility of litigation.

Sedrick was in critical condition on his first day at Sinai Hospital. His mother, Barbara Bailey, said she thought they would lose him.

From the moment neighbors came pounding on the door the afternoon of Sept. 7, life has been "a nightmare," she said in an interview. "It's still a nightmare."

Sedrick was transferred from Sinai to Kennedy Krieger Institute Sept. 13 and released Tuesday. He is still under the watch of a neurologist and is receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Barbara Bailey said she can't sleep because she needs to check on Sedrick constantly. Neither she nor her husband, Allen Bailey, has returned to work. She is a management assistant at the Social Security Administration, and he is a help-desk supervisor for a telecommunications company.

Allen Bailey said his son will return to Old Court Middle School when he is feeling better, but he will never ride a school bus again.

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