Grief counselors comfort students at Orlando elementary school after boy's death

Student fatally struck by semi while walking home

ORLANDO, Fla. – Grief counselors are comforting students at Wetherbee Elementary School after a student was fatally struck by a semitruck while walking home on Wednesday.

Outside the school, parents said the family of Kevin Pope, 10, has been in their prayers and many have been having conversations with their children about what happened.

"As a parent, that's just crushing," Julius Buie said. "I've been teaching my daughter about safety awareness and making sure you definitely look both ways when you cross the street."

The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Wetherbee Road and Landstar Boulevard, which is less than a half mile from the school.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Pope was crossing in a crosswalk and a semi was turning right when the middle portion of the trailer hit the child.

The truck did not stop, but troopers said they're not classifying the crash as a hit-and-run because the driver likely didn't know the child was struck.

"It appeared the boy tried to swerve away from the semi and was struck from the center portion of the trailer portion of the semitruck," Lt. Kim Montes said.

Cornelius Smith and his son witnessed the crash. The two walked to school together early Thursday.

"I don't know what it's like to lose a child, but that was like an up close encounter yesterday for me and it was also eye opening," Smith said.

According to FHP, troopers have looked at more than 100 trucks in the area, but haven't been able to identify the vehicle connected to the crash.

Troopers said charges are pending against the driver as the crash remains under investigation.

A GoFundMe has been established to help support Kevin's family.

About the Author: