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Girl killed in western Mass. bus dragging incident

A 9-year-old girl was killed Friday afternoon in Plainfield when she became caught in the door of a moving school bus and was dragged, State Police said.

The child was getting out of the bus around 4 p.m. when it reached her stop on South Central Street, and she somehow became “caught in the door as the operator began to drive away. The girl was dragged for a short distance and then struck by the bus,” State Police said in a statement issued Friday night.

“The bus then stopped at the scene,” the statement said.

Plainfield is a town of less than 700 people in Hampshire County. The town is part of the Mohawk Trail/Hawlemont Regional School Districts.


School district officials could not be reached Friday night.

Detectives were interviewing the male driver Friday night, officials said.

“How and why this unspeakably sad event could have happened is the focus of the ongoing investigation,” David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said in an e-mail to the Globe. ”The investigation under the direction of the district attorney will determine whether criminal charges are appropriate.”

State Police said the girl was a student at an area school, which the agency did not name. Troopers also declined to name the bus company.

“I am not releasing the name of company or school at this time, in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation and out of concern for the privacy of the child’s family and the other children on the bus,” Procopio said.

Several other children were on the bus at the time of the crash, according to the statement.

“We express our deepest condolences to the victim’s family,” the statement said.

State Police said they would not release any additional information Friday night and said Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office would provide more details “when appropriate.”


A spokeswoman for Sullivan declined to comment.

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.