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Child killed in Idaho school bus accident, four more hurt

Source: Reuters - Thu, 5 Dec 2013 07:56 PM
Author: Reuters
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(Adds details including age of boy killed, cause of death)

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho, Dec 5 (Reuters) - An 11-year-old boy was killed and four more children injured on Thursday when a bus carrying elementary school students in Idaho collided with a dump truck at a rural intersection, a state police spokeswoman said.

The school bus was transporting 12 students, all sixth grade or younger and none wearing seat belts, to an elementary school, when the crash occurred at around 8 a.m. on a country road near the city of Nampa, west of Boise.

The boy, whose name was withheld pending notification of extended family, died from blunt force trauma, said Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris.

Idaho state police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said there was a stop sign at the corner of the road the school bus was using, but not on the one where the dump truck was traveling.

A special crash unit was at the scene reconstructing the accident to determine if the bus stopped, as required, at the intersection, Baker said. Neither driver had been cited by early Thursday afternoon.

The injured children were transported to hospitals in Boise and Nampa, Baker said. The driver of the dump truck was not injured, and there was no immediate word on whether the bus driver was hurt, she said.

The bus, which was carrying the children to Crimson Point Elementary School in Kuna, Idaho, was not equipped with seat belts for students, school district officials said.

Like many U.S. states, Idaho does not require elementary students on school buses to wear seat belts, and the crash shines a spotlight on the debate over whether the safety devices should be mandatory.

California, New York, Texas and New Jersey are among a handful of states that require safety restraints on new school buses. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not moved to require them.

Opponents say that children on buses are better protected by highly padded seats and other forms of internal design elements as they are transported to and from school.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website that 102 adults and children had been killed in school bus crashes from 2001 to 2010. (Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Writing and additional reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Gunna Dickson, Cynthia Osterman and Steve Orlofsky)

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