Girl struck, killed by school bus in Parachute
Garfield 16 district requests privacy for family, offers resources to those impacted
An 11-year-old girl was struck and killed by a school bus after she tripped and fell trying to catch it, a Parachute Police Department news release states.
“At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, an eleven-year-old female tripped as she ran to catch her school bus,” the release states. “As she fell, she went under the wheels of the moving school bus.”
Parachute police and Grand Valley Fire both responded quickly, the release states, and were assisted by Garfield County Sheriff deputies, but the child was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The Garfield County Coroner was notified and arrived shortly thereafter,“ the release states. ”This is considered an active investigation. No further information will be released, pending the report from the Coroner’s Office and notification of next of kin.“
In a letter to parents, Garfield 16 School District Brad Ray asked that people respect the girl’s family’s privacy and said “our hearts are breaking for all involved, and our priority moving forward is to offer the needed support for those grieving.”
“Any death is difficult for children to understand,” Ray said. “As a parent, understanding your own grief reactions is the first step to helping your child. Children model behavior and coping skills from the adults around them. Here are some suggestions to support your child with grief and loss:
- Acknowledge your own feelings about the loss using simple words. Expressing your own feelings gives your child permission to feel what they are feeling.
- Give basic, honest facts, without too many details. Remember that a child’s fantasy about what happened can often be more traumatic than reality. Use simple language that they can understand.
- Help your child label and “name” their own feelings. Emphasize that all feelings are normal and OK.
- When tragic events occur, children may be afraid the same thing will happen to someone in their family. This fear may prompt questions from your child about their own safety. Provide verbal reassurance and physical comfort. Try to maintain a normal routine during the grieving process.
- Talk with your child about their memories of the person. Help your child use creative outlets like art or reading books to express their feelings.”
Ray also offered contact info for local mental health resources. The Aspen Hope Center can be reached at 970-355-4409, Colorado Crisis Services can be reached at 844-493-8255 or text TALK to 38255 and 911 should be called in the event of an emergency.
Ray thanked the Parachute Police, Grand Valley Fire, Garfield County Sheriff Deputies, Garfield County Coroner’s Office and Colorado State Patrol and all of the community mental health teams that have assisted.
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