A 5-year-old Bryan County boy died after being hit by a truck as he was getting home from school near Pembroke Thursday.
Keshawn Odum, a student at Lanier Primary School, died at 5:19 a.m. Friday, according to Bryan County Coroner Bill Cox.
Georgia State Patrol Master Trooper Henry Gilliard said Keshawn got off his school bus and was crossing the road about 4:30 p.m. when he was hit by a pickup.
“Bryan County Schools is devastated by the loss of one of our own students…” Bryan County Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher said. “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 bus was stopped just north of Sims Road off Highway 119, with emergency and safety equipment working, 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 had not been determined.
Gilliard said the driver of the Ford, a 16-year-old whose name was not released, was not injured.
The trooper said the investigation has been turned over to a GSP wreck 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 are pending the completion of the investigation, Gilliard said.
Brooksher said counselors were on hand Friday at Lanier to help with grief counseling.
“(Assistant Superintendent) Dr. (Bradley) 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 drivers are instructed to inspect their buses before starting a route.
“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.”