District makes changes to bus stop location after 13-year-old dies in hit and run accident

Posted at 8:09 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:34-04

The Belton Independent School District is making changes to one school bus stop located near where a 13-year-old was killed in a hit and run last month.

Richard Snyder, who was a Belton ISD student was riding his bike, when a car hit him in the 2100 block of the Interstate 35 Frontage road, according to police.

Starting on Thursday, buses will drop off children at stops inside of the Twin Oaks Mobile Park instead of the Frontage road.

The change was prompted in part due to parents contacting the district to express safety concerns.

"We are very attentive at any of the concerns we hear from parents, community members. Our transportation department frequently reassesses that there have been any changes to the road or in a neighborhood that changed the safety of a bus stop," Belton ISD Communications Director Kyle DeBeer said.

Richard Snyder Sr., the father of the 13-year-old boy, was one of them.

"There are two bus loads of kids that get picked up here everyday. It's dangerous out there. I truly believe my son would be alive today if there would've been sidewalks or some kind of shoulder there," Snyder said."I can't say enough about the school district. They are trying to resolve a temporary fix in the meantime to protect the kids."

One bus stop near Snyder's makeshift memorial at the Star Mobile Park remained unchanged, continuing to drop off children at the I-35 Frontage road.

"If we bring a 77-passenger bus, it's fairly large. If we bring the bus into the mobile home, we don't have the opportunity to bring it around and get it back out." DeBeer said.

Snyder who appreciates the changes the district made ultimately wants sidewalks to be added in that area. He said he has started the process to request them, including making calls to the city of Belton.

Belton City Spokesman Paul Romer said as far as he knows there have not received calls from residents requesting adding the sidewalks.

Texas Department of Transportation Waco District Spokesman Ken Roberts said in order for the agency to consider adding sidewalks, residents have to request the sidewalks from the city of the Belton. The city would then submit a request to TxDOT for consideration.

If the project is approved, there would be two possible sources of funding, including shared funding federal and local. The other option would be for the city of Belton to pay for the project. Romer said it would be open to funding sidewalks. He added the city would also be open to TXDOT covering those costs.

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