School Steps Up to Help After Fatal Bus Accident

8 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, January 19 2011 Jan 19, 2011 Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:31:14 PM CST January 19, 2011 in News

WILLIAMSBURG - North Callaway R-1 School District Superintendent Bryan Thomsen added extra resources Wednesday for grieving students. The help comes after a school bus driver struck and killed 6-year-old Hunter Pitt Tuesday, January 18th as he crossed the street to reach home.

Thomsen said 22 students watched as the accident occurred and had to stay on the bus to wait for another bus to arrive and take them home. Thomsen said he would not comment on specific students' coping styles, but each of the 185 students at Williamsburg Elementary has access to a counselor.

"Teachers have been instructed to monitor students' behavior closely at this time," Thomsen said. 

Thomsen also said he would not comment on the ongoing investigation into how and why the 77-year-old bus driver, Willie Leonberger, struck the child. Thomsen said he does not think age was a factor in the accident.

"All of our bus drivers are certified and meet all the requirements by DESE and state standards. I'm comfortable with the quality of our drivers and those requirements they go through," said Thomsen.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the investigation is ongoing. Thomsen said North Callaway schools will cooperate fully.

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