The two students who were injured when a rented truck slammed into their school bus during the TriBeCa terror attack are recovering, and one even went back to school the next day, city officials said Thursday.
One of the students, a 16-year-old boy who was sitting by the window at the time of the attack, told his mother after he was released from the hospital that “he had to go to school because he was working on 100 percent perfect attendance,” Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Farina said.
“I told myself I’m going to be fine because a lot of people want to help me,” the boy told Farina.
The next day, no one expected the boy to be back at school, so the bus didn’t come to pick him up. His mother took a car service from Brooklyn to the school in Manhattan, Farina said.
The second student on the bus, a 14-year-old girl, suffered lacerations to her liver, a fractured hip and a collapsed lung, police said. She underwent surgery on Wednesday, Farina said, “and appears to be on the mend.”
The 59-year-old bus driver was home on Thursday, officials said, and the 48-year-old bus matron, who was sitting behind the driver at the time of the attack, underwent another surgery on Wednesday. Farina said “we anticipate she will be fine.”
Farina and Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday toured Stuyvesant High School, which was temporarily placed under lockdown just two days before when Sayfullo Saipov allegedly drove a rented Home Depot truck more than 10 blocks down a crowded West Side Highway bike path in TriBeCa, killing eight people and injuring 12 more.
Saipov was arraigned on federal charges Wednesday evening, including one count of providing material to support ISIS, according to criminal records. He was held without bail.
De Blasio said he spoke to students and teachers, including one teacher who he said was on the bike path during the attack and was injured, and went back to work “the very next day, to his great credit.” He said students said it was important to be at school the next day “to mourn those who had been lost and to show that terror would not stop us, would not change us.”
De Blasio said he was proud of how the lockdown was executed, but it is par for the course to evaluate the procedures after an event like this.
“We obviously drill for these kind of occasions, we wish we didn’t have to, but we understand the world we’re living in,” he said. “The message that came through loud and clear here was everyone had each other’s backs.”
Farina said as soon as the lockdown was initiated, a school safety agent went outside to grab students on the street and bring them back into the school. And within five minutes of deciding what would happen the next day, parents received notifications, including through robocalls, she said.
Officials did not specify which school the students attend, and a spokeswoman for the DOE said the department cannot share the information due to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.