UPDATE: Nine-year-old girl dies after being hit by city bus

Child struck at crosswalk in central Abbotsford

A nine-year-old girl died from her injuries after being struck by a city bus Friday morning in central Abbotsford.

The child was struck at a crosswalk at the intersection of South Fraser Way and Hill-Tout Street around 8:20 a.m.

Police say the girl was taken to hospital, but died shortly after arrival.

The driver of the bus remained at the scene and is co-operating, police say.

South Fraser Way was completely closed in both directions between Hill Tout and Janzen Street, and a city bus was behind police tape. In addition to the Abbotsford Police, BC Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement Investigators were also on scene.

BC Transit’s president and chief executive officer issued a statement:

“I, along with everyone at BC Transit, am extremely saddened to hear of the passing of the nine-year old girl involved in an incident with a BC Transit bus this morning in Abbotsford. Our hearts and thoughts are with her family and friends. Our thoughts are also with the driver and the other witnesses of the event including passengers on the bus.

“BC Transit takes safety very seriously, and is cooperating fully with the Abbotsford Police Department, BC Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement, and other partners to investigate what occurred. BC Transit will also be conducting an internal investigation to determine if there are any additional measures that can be taken to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future.

“As there is an ongoing investigation, the Abbotsford Police Department will need to respond to further questions about the specific incident.”

The girl was a student at Ten-Broeck Elementary School, school district spokesperson Kayla Stuckart confirmed in an email.

“Our district’s critical incident response team has been deployed for both students and staff to ensure that our school community has the appropriate supports in place, not only for today but also for the days ahead,” she said.

Stuckart said there was no crossing guard at the intersection on Friday morning, as there usually is. She said the district has contracted out its crossing guard to Abbotsford Community Services.

“We are currently working with Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) to understand the circumstances,” Stuckart said.

“Our thoughts and condolences are extended to the family for their loss.”

In a statement, ACS confirmed that it usually has a crossing guard at the intersection of Hill-Tout and South Fraser Way and that it is helping with the police investigation into the incident.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends, classmates, teachers, transit staff and first responders in this difficult time,” ACS executive director Rod Santiago said. “We have already begun looking into [Friday’s] tragedy and will provide whatever assistance we can to the Abbotsford Police Department as they conduct an official investigation. For us, today’s tragedy strikes deep for our staff. We are truly heartbroken.”

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