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Police say 7-year-old found dead at bus stop was run over

HUNTCO BUS STOP DEATH PKG1.jpg

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WJAC) — Pennsylvania State Police say a bus driver from the Tyrone Area School District found a 7-year-old boy in the road just after 7 a.m. on Huntingdon Furnace Road in Franklin Township, Huntingdon County.

Police say the boy was run over, likely by a slow-moving van.

"Out here, it's dark. Our kids should not be getting on the school bus when it's dark out, where in town, it's more lit up," said Pamela Couch.

Couch lives nearby. She says she's put two kids through the school district and says this should have never happened. She wants the school district to pick up kids when it's light outside.

"And we fought with them for years. They would be getting on the bus at 20 till 7 in the morning, and they would be on the bus for over an hour," Couch said.

State Police Public Information Officer Trooper David McGarvey says they located a van and a driver in the area at the time.

Right now, they are searching that van for evidence and doing forensic analysis.

McGarvey says the driver didn't realize he ran over the boy, who was close to the road at the bottom of his driveway.

"And that's where many bus stops are for many of the rural locations, not only in Huntingdon, but just about every county in central Pennsylvania," McGarvey said.

He calls this a tragic accident and hopes people take precautions when they are around bus stops.

"It could be helpful for children to wear reflective clothing or have flashlights or have some way to let motorists know that they are near the roadway," McGarvey said.

McGarvey says especially on rural roads, when kids are getting on and off the bus, it's important to pay attention to where you're going.

"Any time you're around children, we hope that people will slow down and not be distracted and pay attention to what they're doing and just be extra cautious so we don't have anything like this happen ever again," McGarvey said.

The boy, from Huntingdon County, was a second-grader at Tyrone Elementary School in Blair County. The school is providing on-site counseling, as well as crisis resources for students and staff aware of the situation.

The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at 814-627-3161.

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