‘They’re a coward’: Florida boy, 4, hit by pickup truck after exiting school bus at wrong stop

A 4-year-old Florida boy was seriously injured Thursday when he was hit by a pickup truck and dragged down the street, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

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Joseph Soto had gotten off at the wrong bus stop in Holiday when he was hit by a blue Chevy S-10 pickup truck, troopers said. The driver of the pickup did not stop after hitting the kindergartner, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Soto was taken by helicopter to a Tampa hospital. The boy had surgery Friday for a broken femur and suffered severe road rash, according to WFTS.

Soto's mother, Jennifer Moore, said her son was on the right bus. When he did not exit the bus, Moore asked the driver where he was, WFLA reported. The driver directed her to the previous stop, and that's when she saw Soto in the middle of the road,

“When I turned the corner, my son was laying in the middle of the road with a group of people around him because a truck hit him and took off,” Moore told the television station.

Students in Pasco County have tags on their backpacks with vital information, including the correct bus stop, WTVT reported. School district officials launched an investigation into how the bus driver made the error, the television station reported. The driver is on administrative lead, according to Linda Cobbe, a spokeswoman for the Pasco County School District, said in a statement to WTVT.

"Pasco County Schools has a responsibility to keep children safe from the time they get on a bus to the time that they leave a bus. Pasco County Schools is investigating the concern that the injured student was in a location other than his designated bus stop," Cobbe said in the statement. "Our thoughts are with the student and his family, and we hope that he recovers fully and returns to school as soon as possible."

Moore wants the person who hit her son to come forward.

"To be able to run over a child, a small child, there's no reason for it," Moore told WFLA. "They're a coward, they're an animal. They have no regard for the human race, period."

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