Parents comfort kids as they pass the crime scene on the way out of school. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com
Police outside Chattanooga Valley Elementary School Monday morning. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com
FLINTSTONE, WALKER COUNTY -
UPDATE: A six-year-old child was fatally struck by a Walker County school bus at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School early Monday morning.
The accident happened about 7:00am outside the school.
The Georgia State Patrol said that the accident, witnessed by several nearby students, immediately took the kindergartner's life
School was not canceled but parents were allowed to pick up their children at the school. The elementary school has almost 460 students.
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson briefed members of the media and opened his news conference with a prayer.
Wilson had the difficult task of telling the child’s parents, saying "It's a tragic event and sometimes it's hard to find the words to say to the mother and daddy. When I went to speak to the mother this morning, there was just no easy way to say it."
The GSP says it's too early to know if charges will be filed in the case. As with all fatal traffic accidents, investigators were treating it as a "crime scene."
Georgia State Patrol Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan said “Our job is to collect evidence and then we present that evidence in a report to a prosecutor. And then the prosecutor makes the decision of whether someone contributed to this incident or what contributed to it and he makes the final decision as to whether charges will be forthcoming."
"The bus will be examined for road worthiness. I'll check the brakes, make sure all the lights were working, obviously the video equipment was working and look at all the parameters to make sure the school bus was in proper condition and if it was supposed to be on the road, " Sgt. Sturdivan explained.
The child's body will be transported to the GBI labs for an autopsy.
The Chattanooga Valley Presbyterian Church across the street from the school has opened its doors as parents and children seek some comfort after the morning's tragic events.
Grief counselors and a therapy dog are expected to be on hand all week to counsel students, teachers and parents.
Thursday, July 24 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:24:58 GMT
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