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Family of North Texas 6-year-old killed by school bus files lawsuit against district, bus companies

Emory Sayre had just gotten off a school bus in front of her home when she was hit and run over.

DALLAS — Editor's note: This story has been updated to attribute certain statements to the lawsuit.

The family of a 6-year-old hit and killed by a school bus in Parker County has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school district, bus seller and manufacturer.

In late April, Tori Sayre was at work when she got a call about her daughter, Emory.

“His voice was frantic, and he said, 'Tori, you need to get home, Emmy’s been hit by the bus,'” Sayre said.

A report from the Texas Department of Public Safety found Sayre was hit by the bus she just walked off right in front of her home. 

Her two brothers witnessed the incident. The lawsuit from Richardson Koudelka, LLP, says she was run over by both the right front and right back tires and flown to a hospital for treatment.

“The doctor came in and he looked at me and he said, ‘I’m sorry, you know, she – she didn’t make it.’ At the time I didn’t have a reaction. I just stood there and looked at him,” Sayre said. “I sat there for about 30 minutes. Just staring.”

Her husband, Sean Sayre, was in Kansas for work and was driving back when she passed.

“I didn’t - never even got to even speak to her,” Sean said.

Tori says she didn’t leave her bedroom for a week, in a mix of denial and grief.

“She was all things tomboy while being all things girly. She’s out there playing tackle football in a Tootoo and a bazillion bracelets on,” she said.

The bus driver was not arrested. The family’s suit claims the district failed to keep buses in safe condition and failed in its driver hiring and training. It also faults the school bus manufacturer, Blue Bird, and seller, Rush Truck Centers of Texas, for building and seller a bus known to be unsafe because of a lack of safety equipment.

Brock ISD declined to comment on the situation. "We continue to offer our prayers and condolences to Emory’s family. Based on potential legal action the District doesn’t have any further comments at this time," the district said in a statement in WFAA.

The 2021 model Blue Bird bus didn’t have cameras, sensors or a front crossing arm. All were available options and had been for years, according to the suit. 

“I want change and unfortunately most of the time these companies don’t start listening until you start affecting their bottom line,” Sean Sayre said.

“Every vehicle on the road today have very basic safety features that could’ve prevented this,” attorney Kevin Koudelka said. “They shouldn’t be options. It should be standard equipment, like a seat belt.”

Since the deadly accident, Brock ISD has added crossing arms to buses.

“A couple of dollars in mass producing buses matters but a couple of dollars could’ve saved Emory’s life,” attorney Nick Rodriguez said.

“It took this for them to actually spend the money on that,” Sean Sayre said.

Now, the Sayres no longer let their children ride buses, even for field trips. They want accountability, change and for April 25 to have never happened.

“You don’t notice how many school buses you see in a day until something like this happens. It’s like they haunt us,” Tori Sayre said. “That day could’ve gone incredibly different and our lives could’ve still been ok and now they’re not.”

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