The collision happened at the intersection of Riverdale Road and Taylor Road, while the two children were walking to Riverdale Elementary School around 8 a.m., according to Riverdale Park police.
The driver stayed on the scene, the town’s mayor, Alan Thompson, said in a Facebook post.
Police haven’t offered other details about the crash, including the identities of the children or the driver involved.
“The unimaginable loss of two innocent children struck and killed by a van while walking to school, has left our community in mourning,” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said in a statement.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the grieving families. During the time of year when many of us come together with family, it is especially heartbreaking that we find ourselves confronting this sorrow. Our hearts ache for these families who are now facing a permanent void during what should be a time of togetherness and Thanksgiving.”
Superintendent Millard House said in a statement the community’s “hearts ache.”
“As we approach the holiday dedicated to expressing gratitude and cherishing our loved ones, the stark reminder of life’s fragility weighs heavily on us. In the face of this tragedy, let us unite, supporting one another and holding our children a little tighter, recognizing the preciousness of every moment we have with our loved ones,” House said.
WTOP’s partners at 7 News reported that officials said the driver had some affiliation with the school.
Riverdale Park police responded to the scene but Prince George’s County police have taken the lead in the investigation.
The Town of Riverdale Park said in a Facebook post that the 4800 block to 5000 block of Riverdale Road and 6000 block to 6200 block of Taylor Road were closed for hours as a result of the collision.
“At this time, I ask that all residents join me, the Town Council, and staff in prayer for the families experiencing this unimaginable loss and pain. We also hold those who witnessed and responded to this horrific accident in our thoughts and prayers,” Thompson said.
A note posted to the elementary school’s website acknowledged the collision happened as kids were arriving at school.
“In light of the situation, parents who wish to pick up their student(s) early are permitted to do so at any time. We understand that this may be a challenging day, and we want to support you in any way we can,” the statement reads.
In a statement to WTOP, the school system said counselors would be on hand for those impacted. On Tuesday, the school announced that Tuesday will be an asynchronous learning day, meaning lessons will be virtual.
Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) extends our heartfelt condolences to the individuals and families affected by a fatal pedestrian accident that took place near Riverdale Elementary School today.
The safety and well being of PGCPS students is our priority, and the loss of any member of our community impacts us all. The Prince George’s County Police and Riverdale Park Police Department are investigating.
PGCPS mental health counselors are at Riverdale Elementary School offering additional support to staff and students who may need assistance coping with this incident.
Here’s a map of where the collision happened.
WTOP’s Will Vitka contributed to this report.