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School bus fatally hits first grader in Missouri just before Christmas vacation

School bus fatally hits first grader in Missouri just before Christmas vacation
‘This is a bad day,’ says Superintendent Clint Johnston. ‘It’s a bad day for our school. It’s a bad day for our community. We’re hurting’

A child in first grade was hit and killed by his school bus just as he was set to begin 圣诞节 vacation.

Police say the boy, who has not been named, had just gotten off the bus after the last day of the semester at Plattin Primary School in 密苏里州 when the vehicle suddenly struck him.

“This morning we were singing Christmas carols together,” the school district’s superintendent, Clint Johnston, 告诉 KMOV through tears. “This is a bad day. It’s a bad day for our school. It’s a bad day for our community. We’re hurting.”

Police say the crash is being investigated. The driver has not been identified, and the bus was towed away from the scene.

“Parents have been notified,” Trooper Scott Roettger of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said at a press conference. “As anyone can imagine, it’s difficult news to deal with, and certainly, it’s going to be hard for them in the future.”

The MSHP says the crash took place at about 3.30pm on Tuesday, near the intersection of Oakland Hill Drive and Oakland Manor in Plattin Township. After the bus stopped, the boy got off and began to cross the street in front of it. For some reason, the bus then accelerated and hit him.

Neighbours say the tragedy has shocked this normally calm community.

“害怕, very scary,” Shirley Brown, who lives on Oakland Hill Drive, 告诉 KMOV. “You don’t know what happened down there, so it’s just very scary, and it’s a shame.”

Superintendent Johnston said grief counselors will be available to students and school staff, even during the Christmas break. He also encouraged parents to talk to their children about what happened.

“I think that it’s important that you start by letting them know you care about them, and you let them know it’s okay to hurt,” Mr Johnston said. “We have to work together as a community to get through this situation.”

The superintendent also asked for support from other communities.

“Please keep our families and our community in your thoughts and prayers,” Mr Johnston said. “It’s going to be a tough Christmas season for a lot of people, and we’ll get through it. We’ll rise. We’ll pull together, but this is not the way anyone wants to ever have to experience a holiday break.”