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Mother’s Message for Drivers After Son with Autism is Hit by Car

THROOP, Pa. — A high school student with autism in Lackawanna County was taken to the hospital after being struck by a car while getting off a school bus....

THROOP, Pa. -- A high school student with autism in Lackawanna County was taken to the hospital after being struck by a car while getting off a school bus.

His mother now has a message for drivers.

Gina Pasquince tells us that her son Josh is doing well, but she and her five children are still shaken by what happened on Thursday.

Another one of her sons, Jason, had to watch his older brother get hit by a car as both boys got off the school bus in Throop.

"I'm angry, I'm sad, and then my kid tells me, ‘But mom, we're going to forgive,’" Pasquince said.

Every day just before 3 p.m., two of Gina Pasquince's sons get off the school bus together. The bus stop is on Sanderson Street in Throop and the boys walk across the street to their home on Memorial Drive.

Thursday afternoon was no different until 17-year-old Josh was struck by a car while his younger brother Jason looked on in horror.

"He now sees his brother being hit and left. He's trying to take his brother's phone and call 911, the bus driver's trying to call 911," Pasquince said.

Josh made it out with only minor injuries.

Throop police say the man behind the wheel was 48-year-old Charles Hope. He took off, but police eventually tracked him down thanks to a passerby who wrote down his license plate as he sped off.

He's now facing DUI, overtaking a school bus, careless driving, and other charges.

charles hope

"He came, he hit my son, he decided to keep going. He didn't think twice about my kid who was laying on the street."

Josh has autism. Pasquince says he now has mixed emotions about going back to school.

The mother of five wants the bus stop to be moved from the busy street and into the neighborhood.

"I am lucky, I'm happy, I'm lucky. But I'm angry. It could've been anyone's kid. And there's no guarantee next time that it's just going to be a scrape on his hand."

She also has a message for drivers.

"Just remember, you're not the only one out there. There's people out there, there's kids crossing the streets. So take your time and think of others, not just yourself in your moment. That's it."

Gina Pasquince is thankful police were able to track down the driver so quickly.

The superintendent of the Mid Valley School District says, in light of Thursday’s incident, the district will look into changing the bus stop.