A school bus struck and killed a middle school student this morning on the first day of the new school year in Culpeper, Va.
The victim was a 10-year-old girl who was beginning her first year at Floyd T. Binns Middle School in the town of about 10,000 people 70 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.
The accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m. at the corner of Birch Drive and Elmwood Drive as the bus was heading toward Binns Middle School, which has about 800 students in grades six through eight, and Culpeper County High School.
"The bus had just completed a stop at that intersection to pick up students and was making a right turn to go east on Elmwood when the child apparently ran in front of the bus," the Culpeper Police Department said in a statement. It said the child was pronounced dead after being transported to the emergency room of the Culpeper Regional Hospital a few blocks from the accident scene.
Accident reconstruction teams from the Culpeper police and the Virginia State Police are continuing an investigation, the police statement said. It said no charges have been filed against the school bus driver.
Daniel V. Boring, the Culpeper chief of police, said the name of the girl was being withheld to permit the family to notify relatives.
Marla McKenna, a spokeswoman for Culpeper County schools, said the school bus driver has worked for the school system for 25 years and had no previous accidents on her record. The driver was not injured but was so distraught that she was taken to the hospital for evaluation, McKenna said.
"She's grief-stricken," the spokeswoman said. She said the driver's name is not immediately being released.
The police department said the driver was treated at the hospital's emergency room and released.
The school bus serves both Binns Middle School and Culpeper County High School. None of the students on the bus was hurt in the accident.
The school system, which had 6,400 students at the end of last year, is offering grief counseling to students and sending a letter home with each student "explaining the facts as we understand them," McKenna said.