Montgomery County to review bus stop safety after 2 students struck

Crash investigations are underway after two students were struck in separate incidents near school bus stops late last week in Montgomery County, with Maryland’s largest school system promising a review of bus stop safety.

The Montgomery County Public School System is pledging to do all it can to promote safety after drivers hit two students near buses on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13: The first, a 9-year-old student at Bradley Hills Elementary School, killed moments after stepping off her school bus; the second, a 17-year-old at Walter Johnson High School, injured while crossing the road to reach his bus.

At a town hall on Saturday, Montgomery residents and leaders gathered to discuss road safety following the incidents, acknowledging an uptick in fatal road crashes while considering all factors that lead to them, including those involving pedestrians and cyclists.

“These are just profound tragedies and we are all affected and our thoughts and prayers are with the families,” said Andrew Zuckerman, chief operating officer for Montgomery County Public Schools. “We are obviously going to do a few key things — number one, review all our protocols related to bus stop safety.”

Zuckerman said a panel would be assembled consisting of transportation experts and community members from around the state and region to review the location of school bus stops as well as the established safety protocols for children waiting at school bus stops.

“The first one, involving the 9-year-old, is just an unforeseeable accident,” said Captain Thomas Didone, director of the Montgomery County Police Department’s traffic division. “I never use the ‘A’ word, but in this case, it’s just the facts and circumstances that it was a true accident, and we’ll work through the investigation.”

Didone said school buses have camera footage available which will aid in the investigation with both incidents.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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