At a news conference Tuesday, police identified the children as Shalom Mbah, 10, and Sky Sosa, 5.
A 5-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl died Monday after they were struck by a pickup truck while walking to their elementary school in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
At a news conference Tuesday, police identified the children as Shalom Mbah, 10, and Sky Sosa, 5, both of Riverdale.
The Riverdale Elementary School students were in a crosswalk at the intersection of Riverdale Road and Taylor Road with a male parent when they were struck by a van attempting to turn left around 8 a.m. Morning.
Police officers provided medical treatment to the students at the scene and they were transported to hospital where they later died.
The injured man suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz said the department does not publicly reveal the students’ connections to the man.
A woman who was driving the van southbound on Taylor Road was turning left onto Riverdale Road when the collision occurred. She was not injured and remained at the scene, police said.
It is unclear whether she will face charges as police are still working to understand what happened and their investigation could take months.
“As is the case with all fatal crashes, when the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit completes this investigation, the findings are forwarded to the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for further review. possible criminal charges,” Aziz said.
The collision occurred as many students were arriving for class. Riverdale Elementary School held virtual classes Tuesday.
“Our hearts ache as we extend our deepest condolences following this most tragic accident that claimed the lives of two of our beloved Riverdale Elementary School students,” said Millard House II, the superintendent of the county’s public school division. “The entire community, the school system is in mourning.”
House said that in addition to in-person counselors, support will also be available virtually for students.
“As we approach this time of gratitude, of dedicating our expressions and gratitude and cherishing the holidays for our loved ones, let us come together to frankly and support each other in this scenario,” House said.
When asked if a crossing guard was stationed at the intersection where the accident occurred, Aziz responded, “In this particular case, the crossing guard doesn’t seem like it would have made much difference.” »
The police chief admitted the department had problems hiring crossing guards after the pandemic.
“We are not where we need to be to meet the challenge,” he said, while encouraging people concerned about “the safety of our children” to apply.
The crossing guard who worked at the accident scene retired last summer, and Aziz said his position has not yet been filled. Prince George’s County police will interview candidates in the coming weeks.
Millard, who said he was at the scene after the crash, thanked law enforcement for their response.
“We are committed to continuing our partnership and working with our local authorities to ensure comprehensive crossing guard coverage is in place for now and the future,” Millard said.
Police are continuing to investigate the crash, including reviewing video evidence. Aziz asked anyone with footage of the incident to send it to police and urged anyone with information about the crash to contact investigators at 301-731-4422.
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