School bus hits and kills 15-year-old girl

Jan 27, 2023, 2:38 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2023, 4:04 pm

SANDY, Utah — A school bus, with students on board, hit and killed a pedestrian near State Street and 8400 South Friday.

The pedestrian was identified as 15-year-old Jennifer Flores Diaz, a 10th-grade student at Jordan High School.

Moffitt said the school bus — which was carrying 16 students from Hillcrest High School — was turning left to head northbound on State Street, from Princeton Avenue, which is 8375 South. The bus came to a halt on State Street, just past the crosswalk.

“It’s difficult for everybody that’s involved: from the bus driver to the students on the bus, all the family of the pedestrian, as well as all the first responders on scene,” Moffitt said. “This is difficult when it involves children.”

The sergeant said it’s unclear whether Diaz was in the crosswalk, and it’s unclear which traffic signals may have been showing. A crash reconstruction team, made up of officers from various agencies around the Salt Lake Valley, is working to piece together those details.

The bus driver was cooperating with the investigation.

Jeff Haney with Canyon School District confirmed no students on the bus were injured in the crash.

Jordan High School Principal Bruce Eschler sent out the following letter to the school community:

“Earlier today, we were shocked and saddened to learn that one of our tenth-grade students, Jennifer Flores Diaz, was involved in a fatal auto-pedestrian accident.

Our deepest condolences go out to the student’s parents and family and to Jordan High teachers, staff and students who are struggling with pain and loss.

As a school community, we want parents, students, and staff to know that we will have counseling personnel and bereavement support resources on hand Friday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the counseling office and Monday morning when school resumes after the weekend. A student death can generate strong feelings of anxiety and distress as students process the tragic news and struggle to cope with their grief. If you feel your student needs to speak to a guidance counselor, teacher, or adult, please contact the Jordan High Administration, or drop by our Main Office on Monday.

This is a difficult time for all of us. We want to express our appreciation for the support you have shown our school community as we’ve faced a time of intense difficulty.

Traumatic events can be difficult and, like adults, adolescents express emotions by grieving. Yet adolescents may not demonstrate grief in the same manner. The following information is provided for parents and others who may find themselves in a position of guiding an adolescent through the grieving process. Students also have access to licensed counselors at the University of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute via the mobile app, SafeUT.”

District superintendent, Rick Robins, also released a statement:

The loss of any child — at any time — is heartbreaking for a community. Today, the entire Canyons District community mourns the tragic passing of one of our beautiful and cherished students who died in an auto-pedestrian accident involving a school bus. Canyons District sends our heartfelt condolences to the family of the student, as well as the student’s friends, teachers, and school staff who will struggle with the pain and loss of a loved one. As Superintendent, I want our community to know that counseling services will be provided to students, faculty, and staff who are struggling with difficult emotions following the incident.  A student death certainly can prompt feelings of anxiety or distress as peers try to cope with grief.  We ask parents to talk with their children about their emotions and reach out to the school or the District Office if they need additional help to support their student. This is a difficult time for all of us, and we express our appreciation for the support that has already been shown to our school community.

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School bus hits and kills 15-year-old girl