WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– One day after he was struck and dragged by a minivan while walking in the school crosswalk outside Skyline Vista Elementary School, 4-year-old Max Anchondo got to meet one of the heroes who rushed to save him.
He was struck Wednesday morning outside Skyline Vista Elementary School near 74th and Zuni.
On Thursday, Ted Chavez, one of the men involved in the rescue went to visit Max and his family.
“Do you remember grabbing my hand yesterday?” Chavez asked.
Max has a few small cuts and minor bruises, his leg in a cast after he was burned by the exhaust pipe on the minivan that struck him and dragged him for several feet.
“My leg is hurt,” Max said.
His mother Diana Anchondo, says he is lucky to be alive.
“Really, lucky,” she said.
School bus driver Chavez was one of the first to Max’s side after he was run over outside of his school where he attends preschool.
“The pavement was here and the car was here,” Chavez said and pointed to his head.
The driver dragged Max at least 10 feet from the crosswalk. Chavez says Max’s backpack added some extra protection
“You could see where there’s oil and where it’s all scuffed up,” he said.
In an effort to keep Max calm, Chavez got down on the ground next to him and called for a carjack to lift the vehicle.
Two other men were already coming back from the home down the street- a floor jack in hand.
“I said, ‘You are going to be okay, and he said, ‘I am going to be okay?’ ‘You are going to be fine,’” Chavez said.
While he was focused on Max, Chavez says it was tough not to think about his stepdaughter.
Less than a year ago, his step-daughter Jamille, now 8 years old, was struck by a drunk driver and the crash left her paralyzed.
“That was the last thing I would want for anyone and that was what I was concerned about with him.”
Once that car was lifted, Chavez said there was a huge feeling of relief.
“We got it up and I saw him moving his feet which was a really good sign,” he said.
After nearly 30 years behind the wheel of school bus, Chavez says as unfortunate as it is – it was only a matter of time before he saw an accident like this.
“You see people on the phone not paying attention you see people texting when we are out on our routes and the run our lights it’s dangerous,” he said.
His message to everyone, “Pay attention.”
Last month, CBS4 reported on a nationwide study that ranked counties based on the number of distracted drivers seen in their school zones.
Adams County, where Skyline Vista is located, received a “D” grade.
The driver who hit Max did receive a citation for careless driving and failure to yield.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.