School bus hits, kills woman in Bethesda

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 11, 2009; 7:26 PM

A school bus struck and killed a 60-year-old woman in front of Bethesda Elementary School on Wednesday, Montgomery County officials said.

Police identified the victim as Sheila C. Humphries, of Bethesda.

None of the five students on the bus was injured. The bus driver, who stayed at the scene after the accident, was identified as Gilbert V. Fuentes, 43, of Hyattsville, who has been with the Montgomery County school system since 2001, police and school officials said.

"We express our deepest sympathies to the victim's family," Superintendent Jerry D. Weast and Board of Education President Shirley Brandman (At Large) said in a joint statement. Montgomery County Public Schools "is cooperating fully with local police as they investigate this accident and we will also conduct our own review to determine what could have been done to avoid this tragedy."

About 1:30 p.m., Humphries began crossing Arlington Road in a crosswalk, said Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman. At the same time, the bus exited the school property and turned left, heading north, Starks said. It struck Humphries in one of the northbound lanes of Arlington Road, Starks said.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Humphries was crossing with the light, Starks said.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company