A 5-year-old Bryan County boy died after being hit by a truck Thursday as he was getting off the school bus near Pembroke.
Keshawn Odum, a student at Lanier Primary School, died at 5:19 a.m. Friday, according to Bryan County Coroner Bill Cox.
Master Trooper Henry Gilliard with the Georgia State Patrol said Keshawn was exiting the southbound school bus Thursday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. when he was struck by a pickup truck that was heading north.
“Bryan County Schools is devastated by the loss of one of our own students,” Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher said Friday. “Truly, I believe the loss of something as precious as a child is unconscionable. We’re truly saddened by the tragedy — an event this tragic has a significant impact on the school system and community alike.
“Truly the most important thing right now is keeping that student’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.”
The school bus was stopped just north of Sims Road off of Highway 119, with all emergency and safety equipment working properly, Gilliard said.
“A 5-year-old was getting off the bus and crossed into the northbound lane and was struck by a red Ford F-150,” he said, noting the speed of the pickup truck at the time of the accident has not yet been determined.
Gilliard said the driver of the Ford, a 16-year-old whose name was not released, was not injured in the accident.
The trooper said the investigation has been turned over to a GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team out of Reidsville.
“Any time there is a prosecutable accident of serious nature involving injury or fatality, we turn it over to them,” he said.
Any charges that could be filed are pending the completion of the investigation, Gilliard said.
Brooksher said counselors were on hand Friday at Lanier Primary School to help with grief counseling.
“Dr. Anderson and I arrived at Lanier Primary as well and checked on the principal to see what other resources she may need,” he said. “She said things were going as well as they could be considering the situation.”
Brooksher said before a bus goes out on any route, drivers pre-inspect each bus to make sure everything is working properly.
“Student safety is paramount to what we do every day ... It is not because of an event like this that we become safe — we try to be safe every day,” Brooksher said. “But an event like this does make you analyze, assess and re-evaluate your practices to make sure you’re on target.”
He said the bus driver is “doing as well as she can be after a tragedy like this.” He said school system staff members are checking on her.