9-Year-Old Killed Trying to Board School Bus One Day After Indiana Deaths

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 1, 2018US News

A 9-year-old was fatally struck by a pickup truck in Mississippi while trying to board a school bus just one day after a truck in Indiana killed three children trying to board a bus.

All of the children were walking across the road to reach a bus stopped on the other side. In Mississippi, officials said Dalen Thomas was walking across a highway in Marietta when he was hit by the truck around 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 31.

An ambulance rushed the boy to a nearby medical center and from there he was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Just a few hours later, he was pronounced dead there.

Hunter Newman, 22, was identified as the driver of the truck and was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, reported KTRK. If convicted, Newman faces up to 60 years in prison. His bond was set at $10,000.

9-year-old Mississippi boy struck by truck
Hunter Newman, 22, allegedly struck a 9-year-old boy in Mississippi as the child crossed a highway to board a school bus on Oct. 30, 2018. Newman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. (Lee County Jail)

The Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Mississippi Highway Patrol Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating the crash. The bus “was properly stopped when a truck hit the student,” Baldwyn School District Assistant Superintendent Raymond Craven.

The deadly accident in Indiana prompted school officials to shift the bus stop from across the road from the mobile home park in which the three deceased students lived, to inside the park, starting on Nov. 1. It’s unclear if officials in Mississippi are considering a similar move.

In a statement, the Baldwyn School District said that it would be offering counseling to students.

“With the recent tragic accident, Baldwyn School District will be offering counseling in partnership with the Family Resource Center, Region III, and local ministers on site throughout the rest of the school week. The safety of our students will continue to be our number one priority. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the family of this tragic accident,” said Craven.

Officers said drivers need to be alert at all times, but especially during rush hour in the morning and evening.

“Sadly it takes a reminder like this that our school buses do share the highways with us, do share the roads, in morning and evening traffic,” Master Sgt. Ray Hall told WCBI.

The broadcaster noted that a state law known as “Nathan’s Law,” passed in 2011, requires drivers to stay at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus and inflicts fines for drivers who pass stopped school buses.

The death comes two years after a 7-year-old Mississippi girl was fatally struck after getting off a school bus. Two grand juries declined to press charges against the driver.

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