NBC10.com - Cydney Long
A grieving father wants answers after his 6-year-old son was struck and killed by a school bus Monday morning. NBC10's Cydney Long speaks to the father as well as witnesses.
A candlelight vigil is planned for the boy who was struck and killed by a school bus Monday morning.
Churches and community members in Waterford Township organized the vigil, which will take place Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the corner of Lake Drive and Aqua Lane in Atco, N.J., to honor 6-year-old Edmond Boch IV, according to a Facebook post on the Waterford Speaks page.
The memorial's location is just a short distance away from where Boch died Monday morning.
The boy was at the bus stop across the street from his home on Aqua Lane shortly before 8:30 a.m. when his bus arrived. Boch's parents say he walked in front of the stopped bus towards the passenger side as he normally does. This time however it was pouring rain, which may be why the driver apparently did not see him.
The bus began to drive off as Boch was walking and the boy was struck and killed.
His father, Edmond Boch III, had left for work shortly before the accident occurred.
"Basically all I want to say to parents is make sure you go home and hug your kids tonight," Boch III told NBC10. "You don't know if they are gonna be there tomorrow or not."
"He gave me a hug and kiss and said, 'I'll see you later, I love you dad,'" Boch III said. "Next thing you know I got a phone call that he was hit by a bus. I come driving down the road and he's lying on the ground dead."
According to witnesses, the bus driver, didn't initially realize he had struck the boy.
"The driver absolutely didn't know," said Jennifer Cummings. "He was in shock too."
The driver, who has not yet been identified, was questioned by police. Toxicology tests were also performed. Officials with the school district say the driver is a substitute bus driver who has worked with Hillman's Bus Company for 25 years.
Boch IV was a first grade student at Atco Elementary School. The school is providing counseling services for students as police continue to investigate the accident and the family continues to cope with their loss.
"I want him back," Boch III said while in tears. "I want him home. I want him in our arms. I want to play with him at night. I want to do his homework with him."
On Tuesday, Dan Hillman, owner of Hillman's Bus Company, released a statement on the boy's death.
"This was a tragic accident," Hillman wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the entire community."
Hillman also told NBC10 that both the company and the bus driver are cooperating fully with the investigation.