MANSFIELD, Mass. (WPRI) — A 13-year-old boy died Wednesday after being struck by a school bus in Mansfield, Massachusetts State Police confirm.
According to Mansfield police, the boy was riding a bicycle in the area of East Street near the bike path at about 2 p.m. when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The boy’s family identified him as Shane Farrell. They released the following statement Wednesday night:
We are all in a state of profound shock and disbelief at this time. We have suffered a great loss and are doing our best to get through it with the love and support of our friends, family and church. Shane was a remarkable young man who touched the lives of many people. His loss has shaken us deeply and we will need time and space to get through this . We respectfully ask for privacy while we grieve the loss of Shane. Our hearts are sad but we take comfort in the wonderful memories we have with him and knowing that he is now with the Lord. Thank you for respecting our wishes and giving us privacy that this difficult time.”
Many people were seen stopping by the scene to leave flowers and teddy bears, and pray for the young boy who lost his life.
“It’s so sad, it was a freak accident,” said Amanda Hartnett. “The cop said that he had hit a gap in the sidewalk and fell into the bus.”
Police have not yet released the details of what caused the accident.
Eyewitnesses said children can often be seen riding their bikes in the area.
“This is a main street and everything, but that’s pretty busy,” said one eyewitness. “There’s not a day that goes by you don’t see eight or nine kids on their bikes riding the bike path across there, just to get over, heading towards where there friends are.”
The children on the bus were taken to Qualters Middle School and Mansfield High School, where grief counselors were available until their parents arrived to pick them up. Police said the school department will provide grief counselors as needed in the coming days.
The accident remains under investigation by Mansfield police, the district attorney’s office and the Mass. State Police Reconstruction Team.