Two students were struck and killed by motorists near their school bus stops this week, authorities said.
A 9-year-old boy in Marietta, Mississippi, was struck and killed on Wednesday morning while trying to board his school bus, WTVA reports.
Officials from the Mississippi Highway Patrol told WTVA that elementary school student Dalen Thomas died after getting hit by a pickup truck on Highway 370 at County Road 2578 in Lee County.
Thomas was first taken to a nearby medical center with serious injuries, and then airlifted to a children’s hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, with life-threatening injuries, according to WTVA.
Troopers identified the driver of the truck as Hunter Newman, 22, of Marietta, who has since been charged with aggravated assault, WTVA reports.
Raymond Craven, the assistant superintendent for Baldwyn School District, told WTVA that the bus was properly stopped when a truck hit the student.
Craven added that the safety of students is the district’s “number one priority,” and that the district will be offering counseling in partnership with a local family resource center.
Meanwhile on Thursday, a 7-year-old boy was killed at his bus stop along Huntington Furnace Road in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania, after he was also hit by a vehicle while waiting for the bus, police said.
Officials said the incident happened around 7 a.m., and a school bus driver for Tyrone Area School District found the boy dead at the bus stop and called 911.
David McGarvey of Pennsylvania State Police told ABC News that the motorist, who was allegedly unaware that that their vehicle had hit the boy, was traveling at a slow speed and did not stop after apparently striking the boy.
Garvey added that police are questioning several motorists who were driving in the area at the time of the incident, and have obtained a search warrant to collect evidence from the car of the motorist who is accused of hitting the student.
Cathy Harlow, superintendent for Tyrone Area School District, said in a statement posted on the district’s website that their school community is “truly grieved by this terrible loss,” and that the school bus driver and district staff are assisting police in gathering details in the ongoing investigation.
Harlow added that the district is also providing on-site counseling to staff and additional crisis resources for students.
The two incidents come after the recent crash in Rochester, Indiana, that killed three students and injured another on Tuesday after a driver passed a school bus with its stop arm extended and stop lights deployed.
The motorist, Alyssa Shepherd, 24, was arrested following the crash and was charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one misdemeanor count for passing a school bus with its stop arm extended, causing injury.
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