Launtia Cuff, Gleaner Writer
BOGUE, St Elizabeth:
THE BOGUE Primary School in St Elizabeth was up to yesterday mourning the death of six-year-old grade-one student Emar Malcolm, who was mowed down by a bus on Wednesday.
Students and teachers who are traumatised by the incident, which took place in front of the school shortly after school was dismissed, received counselling on Thursday.
Police Sergeant Lorenzo Benjamin, the sub-officer in charge of traffic for St Elizabeth and the investigator in the case, said the reports are that the bus was travelling from the Braes River to Balaclava. He said Emar was standing on the left side of the road and tried to run across the road just ahead of the bus. He was hit and trapped underneath the bus and was dragged for approximately 10 feet.
He received head injuries, injuries to his chest region and his left arm was almost severed.
According to Taniesha Benjamin, Emar's teacher, a number of her students who witnessed the incident were absent from school on Thursday.
"A lot of them didn't turn up for school today, and I've had reports that they didn't sleep well last night, so I would attribute that to them not being able to come. It was a graphic scene and, trust me, it was really traumatic."
She said she was in a meeting along with other staff members when the incident occurred.
"We were having a meeting and I heard a sound, and I saw children running. I thought they were fighting. I didn't react right away. It's after I heard the bawling and the screaming. Same time I opened the window, and I looked, and I saw the head on the ground," Benjamin told The Gleaner.
At this point, she said she was still unsure who the student was and that she somehow mustered the strength to walk down the road, and that's when she saw the body of her student lying on the road.
"I broke down right there and then," Benjamin said.
She noted that Emar was the youngest student in her class and that he loved to play and was full of life, but the image of him that lingers in her mind is that of the grade-one student taking his last breaths.
Benjamin said although they are still saddened by the incident, the grief counselling that she has received from the various counsellors that visited the school on Thursday has helped her, and based on what she has seen, it has helped the students who were present as well.
Sergeant Benjamin said no charges have been laid against the driver, as there has been no indication of recklessness on his part so far. He added, however, that the police were still in the preliminary stages of the investigation.