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Tuesday, April 19, 2005; Page C12

A Deadly School Bus Accident in Arlington

• A 9-year-old girl was killed yesterday and 14 other children were hurt, two of them seriously, when the school bus they were riding in collided with a trash truck.

The bus was headed to Hoffman-Boston Elementary in Arlington. It had 15 children on board when the accident happened, about six blocks from school.

One student was killed and 14 others hurt in an Arlington school bus crash. (Kevin Lamarque -- Reuters)

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The girl who was killed was Lilibeth Gomez, a third-grader. The children who were seriously hurt were a 7-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl.

The drivers of the bus and truck also were seriously hurt. The cause of the accident wasn't known.

Yesterday's accident should remind all kids of the proper way to behave on a bus, which might be the only time you ride without a seatbelt.

• Stay in your seat. If the bus stops or starts suddenly, you could be tossed to the ground, into a metal seat frame or onto another child.

• Face forward. It's tempting to kneel on your seat and face friends behind you, but if the driver brakes suddenly, you could wind up going head over heels into another seat.

• Don't distract the driver. It's an incredibly tough job to drive a bus in rush-hour traffic. Don't do anything in a bus that you wouldn't do in your parents' car.

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