A 6-year-old boy from Plattin, Missouri, was hit and killed by his school bus on the last day of school before the holiday break.
A Tuesday press release issued by Jefferson County R-VII School District, where the unidentified child attended school, confirmed the death.
“We have some very tragic news to report to you,” Superintendent Clint Johnson stated. “The Jefferson R-VII School District experienced a tragedy this afternoon at the death of one of our first-grade students.”
According to a press conference given by Johnson and streamed by STL Today, the incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. local time Tuesday near the intersection of Oakland Hill and Oakland Manor near Jefferson R-7 School District, which is located about 40 miles south of St. Louis.
“This morning we were singing Christmas carols together,” said Johnson of the child who died. “This is a bad day. It’s a bad day for our community.”
He added with tears in his eyes, “It’s going be a tough Christmas for a lot of people.”
According to the crash report, the 6-year-old boy had just exited the school bus driven by Walter Dellenbaugh, 61, and the boy then walked around the front of the vehicle, which was pulling away from the stop. The school bus struck the child, who was pronounced dead at the scene by the time ambulance personnel arrived.
Whether or not other students were on board at the time of the crash is unknown at this writing.
Tropper Scott Roettger of the Missouri Highway Patrol stated that a crash investigations team was at the site and speaking with the driver and witnesses to determine how the incident occurred.
The child’s family was reportedly notified of the incident. However, his identity is withheld citing privacy concerns.