DILLWYN, Va. (AP) — A tractor-trailer carrying 75,000 pounds of mulch struck and killed two children who ran into the road to meet their approaching school bus in Virginia on Thursday, state police said.
State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said six children were standing at the bus stop on a private road off U.S. Route 15 in Dillwyn when two of them saw their bus approaching and ran across the northbound lanes.
Geller said the tractor-trailer was traveling northbound at the time, carrying 75,000 pounds of mulch. Geller said the driver was coming down a hill and tried to stop, but struck the children.
Police say the children were 5 and 6 years old and died at the scene. They were identified as 5-year-old Tori Perez and 6-year-old Jaiden Bartee.
Geller said no charges will be brought against the truck driver.
The school bus had its yellow lights flashing but hadn't come to a complete stop when the children ran across the road, Geller said. She said the school bus driver motioned to the children to try to get them to go back to the side of the road.
Sabrina Green, Perez's mother, told The Richmond-Times Dispatch that she ran to the scene after hearing the crash. Green said Perez was lying on the side of the road and Bartee was under the truck. The newspaper reports that the two were cousins.
Barbara Rose, Perez's great aunt, told the newspaper she was a "joyful little child."
Buckingham County Public Schools Superintendent Cecil Snead said grief counseling will be available to help students and employees process the tragedy. Snead would not provide any further details about the children or the incident.
"All I'm asking is everyone keep Buckingham in your prayers in the upcoming days," he said.