On the morning of April 14 at around 7 a.m., students were starting to arrive at Georgia's Chattanooga Valley Elementary School. The school has a circular drive intended for school buses that is in a different area than where parents drop their children off. A 6-year-old boy who was a kindergarten student at the school had just disembarked from one of the buses. Sadly, he was struck by the bus and killed.
The school took steps to shield its 460 students from what was going on, including putting the school on a "soft lock down" and covering up the windows so the children were unable to see outside to the driveway. State police and Walker County sheriff's deputies were at the scene and trying to piece together what had happened.
Authorities obtained surveillance videos from the school, along with the monitoring system from the bus. Deputies also conducted a preliminary interview with the driver. It was not known at the time if any of the children saw the bus accident or witnessed the aftermath. The Department of Transportation was expected to complete a full inspection of the bus involved.
The local coroner announced that the deceased kindergartener died immediately after the collision and experienced no suffering. State police are expected to conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Such a devastating tragedy can ripple through a whole community. Parents who place their children on a bus each morning have to expect that the meantime protectors will do what is in their power to keep the kids safe. Protective systems also have to be in place to ensure the safety of students.
The grieving parents in this case are undoubtedly searching for answers.
Source: Northwest Georgian News, "Walker County kindergartner killed in school bus accident," Matt Ledger, April 14, 2014