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9-year-old boy killed after crawling under school bus in Florida

The student was dropped off at an apartment complex in Orlando, but ran back and crawled under the moving bus, which struck him.
9-year-old boy killed after crawling under school bus in Florida
Posted at 12:58 PM, Jan 18, 2024

A 9-year-old boy was killed after being run over by a school bus in Florida.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the incident happened Tuesday, when the boy was dropped off at the Waterford East Apartments in Orlando by an Orange County Public School bus, according to a press release obtained by NBC News.

The child exited the bus and the 54-year-old male bus driver, who has not been identified, proceeded to drive forward. That’s when the boy "ran back" and "crawled underneath" the bus, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The boy was struck by the rear right tire and pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the scene, officials said.

The death was ruled an accident by the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office, who listed the cause of death as cranial-cerebral trauma.

It is not clear why the boy crawled under the bus, but the highway patrol said the incident is still a "very active traffic homicide investigation." 

At the scene, Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson Lt. Tara Crescenzi told Fox 35 an investigation was ongoing, pending video review.

"It is absolutely devastating for this family that is here, but also for our investigators that have to investigate this type of scene," Crescenzi said.

The boy was a student at Lawton Chiles Elementary School. The superintendent of the Orange County Public Schools school district spoke out in a statement obtained by USA Today.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of one of our precious students who was involved in a bus accident late (yesterday) afternoon," said superintendent Maria Vazquez. "Please know that OCPS is fully cooperating with the ongoing Florida Highway Patrol investigation but we ask that you keep the entire Lawton Chiles Elementary School community in your prayers as they grieve the loss of one of their own."

Scripps News has reached out to the Florida Highway Patrol for more information.

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