A 9-year-old girl died on Thursday after being struck by a school bus in Bethesda, according to police. Credit: Photo by Kate Masters

A 9-year-old girl who died after being hit by a school bus in Bethesda last week was running back toward the bus at the time of the crash, according to police.

At approximately 3:49 p.m. on Thursday, the girl was hit by the school bus. She had just gotten off the bus at the intersection of Tanglewood Drive and Millwood Road.

Capt. Tom Jordan, a police spokesman, said Monday that the girl had gotten off the bus and for “reasons still unknown” she ran back toward it “and that’s when she was struck.”

“We don’t know why she was running back, but it doesn’t look like anything other than an accident,” Jordan said.

She was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Washington, D.C., where she was pronounced dead about four hours later.

The girl was a fourth-grade student at Bradley Hills Elementary School in Bethesda, according to school officials.

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Her name has not been released by police or school district officials. Jordan said police might release her name this week, pending notification of family members.

The bus driver, 53-year-old Serigne Makhtar Ndiaye, of Severn, was placed on administrative leave by MCPS, which is standard procedure following a crash, according to school district officials.

It has not been determined if charges will be filed against the school bus driver. The investigation into the crash could span several weeks, Jordan said.

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Police said Ndiaye had turned right on Millwood Road from Tanglewood Drive after stopping at the intersection to unload several students, including the victim.

There are no sidewalks in the area of the crash.

Nine hours before the crash, MCPS released a video emphasizing the importance of pedestrian safety on its Twitter account.

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The video reminds students to “use sidewalks,” and if “there is no sidewalk, walk toward traffic as far to the side as possible.”

On Monday morning, MCPS spokesman Derek Turner said a “crisis team” of additional counselors and psychologists would be available for staff and students throughout the week.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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