On Thursday afternoon Brenden Houston, 6, died after being struck by a Caddo Parish school bus in Shreveport, La. The Herndon Magnet School student was transported to University Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to local reports.
Cpl. Marcus Hines, spokesman for the Shreveport Police Department, said that preliminary information and evidence collected at the scene indicated that Houston was struck by the school bus driven by 59-year-old Debra Kay Stevens of Hosston as she made a turn onto Winter Garden Drive from Addison Avenue.
Stevens was detained by police for questioning and taken to a local hospital for standard toxicological screening in accordance with state laws. Though police do not suspect driver impairment in the crash, Hines said the investigation remains underway. Investigators are also reconstructing the scene of the accident.
“It's too early in the investigation to determine fault,” he added.
According to Hines, Houston disembarked the bus with a group of other children, but dropped out of Stevens' sight so she did not see him when she moved the vehicle forward. A neighbor who witnessed the accident, Sara Ward, later confirmed the boy crouched down when he noticed his shoelaces were tied together and said, "Uh-oh."
Investigators are reviewing video surveillance from the school bus for additional details on the events that led up to the accident. There was reportedly one student rider left on the bus when the boy was struck.
The Caddo School Board issued a statement soon after that said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Brenden Houston, who was a first-grader at Herndon Magnet School. The school will have additional counselors and staff in the morning and as long as is needed to take care of students and staff during this traumatic time.''
Houston is the fourth child to be fatally struck by a school bus in the past month, with the most recent victim perishing May 2 as well as two others in April. Each year about six students are killed in the danger zone around their school bus during loading and unloading.
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