- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 6, 2003


   A tour bus ran over a 7-year-old boy and hit his mother yesterday on a busy downtown street as they were making their way to the International Spy Museum.
   The boy was taken to Children’s Hospital, where he was declared dead. The mother was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she was in serious condition last night with leg injuries.
   An hour after the accident, the scene at Ninth and F streets NW was still ringed by police tape, and the boy’s red jacket and black shoe were still under the bus, about three feet behind the front wheels.
   The names of those involved were not immediately released.
   The accident stunned witnesses and authorities.
   “The shock of something like this has an impact,” said Ed Chitwood, 53, of Abington, Va., who was a few feet behind the woman and son, also headed for the museum.
   “When the woman came to, she cried out, ‘Where’s my child? Where’s my baby?’” said Mr. Chitwood.
   D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter, a former news reporter himself, paused repeatedly and backed away from microphones as he described the fatality to arriving journalists.
   It was about 2:10 p.m. when the Quality Tour Transport bus was making a right turn off F Street onto Ninth Street. The boy and his mother reportedly had the green light to cross Ninth Street to get to the museum at 800 F St. NW.
   “I was getting ready to cross the street,” said Mr. Chitwood, a corporate-communications specialist and teacher at Virginia Highlands Community College.
   “The child was hit, rolled under the bus and was unconscious at the time,” he said.
   “A woman yelled, ‘Stop. There’s a child under it,’” Mr. Chitwood said. “The bus stopped immediately.”
   “I was impressed by the police and emergency medical corps, who were on the scene within four or 41/2 minutes,” he said.
   Police investigators took the bus driver in for questioning. Information from the questioning and the accident scene will be compiled and turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.
   “The bus driver didn’t see them and took them out,” said Margaret Moore, who witnessed the accident from her car behind the bus.
   “People from the sidewalk were screaming and pounding on the side of the bus, but he kept going. He didn’t see them.”
   Only the driver was on the bus, said Sgt. Gentile and Mr. Chitwood. The driver was on his way to pick up 20 or 25 children at the spy museum and take them to the airport.
   However, Bell Valenti, a spokeswoman for Quality Tour Transport of Springfield, said children were on the bus at the time, and released into the museum. Another bus picked them up later.
   Quality Tour also sent investigators to the scene. Company contacts would not say where the children were from.
   This article is based in part on wire service reports.
   


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