A six-year old boy from Atco, New Jersey was struck and killed by the school bus that had arrived near his home to pick him and other school children up and take them to their Waterford Township school.
The child, identified as Edmond Bock IV, was a student at the Atco Elementary School. According to Newlin Schoener, the superintendent of the school district, it was raining heavily on the morning of the school bus accident, and the child reportedly ran from his house and was subsequently struck by the bus when he crossed in front of it, in the bus driver’s blindspot.
According to Schoener, the bus driver was a substitute who was filling in on the route for the normal driver that morning, but that he had been a bus driver for 25 years. The bus was owned and operated by Hillman’s Bus Company, which holds the contract for bus service for the school district.
The driver, who has not been named, was subjected to both blood tests and a urine analysis, as per standard protocol. He was also questioned by police investigating the tragedy.
The superintendent indicated that the situation is being regarded by the school district as an accident, expressing concern for both the family of the child who was killed and the driver involved in the accident.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family – I can’t imagine how they must feel. Nothing can compare to it.”
The accident took place shortly before the school day was set to begin at 8:30 in the morning, and took place a short distance from the child’s home. Police says the bus had stopped to pick up students when he walked in front of it, and he was apparently still in front of the bus when it began to move. Police are still determining whether any criminal charges need to be filed.
The school district took immediate action in light of the tragedy, getting in touch with the families of all of those who were on the bus at the time of the accident, as well as with the families of children who were in the child’s classroom. Counselors are being made available for students.