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HomeNews9-Year-Old Florida Boy Dies After Crawling Under Moving School Bus

9-Year-Old Florida Boy Dies After Crawling Under Moving School Bus

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9-Year-Old Florida Boy Dies After Crawling Under Moving School Bus
Source: MSN

January 16th, 2024, was a very sad day for Orange County as a 9-year-old boy died tragically in a bus accident. Elyas Marshall Rodriguez died instantly after he crawled under a moving school bus that had just dropped him off at his stop. 

That fateful afternoon, the Orange County Public School bus dropped the Elyas at a roundabout, which was his usual stop. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the bus driver continued driving through the roundabout to his next destination. 

Little Elyas  “ran back” and “crawled underneath” the bus as the driver started moving. Sadly, the rear tire “collided” with him, instantly killing him on the spot. The FHP said the incident is still a “very active traffic homicide investigation.” The FHP has not released the 54-year-old school bus driver’s identity but noted that he remained at the scene. 

However, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the manner of death as an accident. The cause of death was cranial-cerebral trauma. News of Elyas’ death was quite devastating as it was very unexpected.

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From the facts available, there is no clear reason why Elyas crawled under the bus. Did he see something he wanted to pick up? Did he mistakenly drop something under the bus? To date, nobody knows why he ran back to the bus, and authorities are still trying to figure it out. 

Before his untimely death, the Orlando boy was a student at Lawton Chiles Elementary School. Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Maria Vasquez released a statement later that Tuesday, talking about this sad accident. 

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of one of our precious students who was involved in a bus accident late this afternoon. To lose a child so suddenly and tragically is extremely difficult, especially for family and friends.” 

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Furthermore, she said counselors will be available at district schools for students and staff members in need. She also noted that the district is cooperating with the FHP to aid their investigation. 

Trenae Gayle, a cousin of the late child, spoke to WESH about his time alive and how his mother found out about his death. According to him, Elyas’ mom knew something was wrong when he didn’t arrive home after the school day. So, she went to look for him at the playground close to his roundabout stop. 

To her dismay, she found the fallout of the crash. “This was a senseless tragedy. She’ll always have to deal with this pain,” Gayle said. Elyas’s cousin also told the news outlet that the boy had a tough life growing up. 

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At two years old, doctors diagnosed him with leukemia, which he battled for years. At the time of the accident, Elyas was doing much better and in remission. He also had his chemotherapy port taken out just last year. 

“He went through the Make-A-Wish Foundation because of how severe it was. So he had already been through a lot in his life,” Gayle told WESH. Elyas’s death is a very sad tragedy, and the state of Florida mourns his loss. 

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