High School Student Killed in Collision with School Bus in Middletown

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Fatal Accident_8774882099569509468
MIDDLETOWN, Md. – A Middletown High School senior died Wednesday morning after colliding into a Frederick County Public Schools bus near Middletown.

“We heard a loud crash and looked up the road,” said Randy Adkins, an area resident who called 911 to report the crash. “There was a white SUV with smoke coming out from the back of the hood. The school bus was pulled over to the side of the road, and we saw debris laying everywhere.”

Less than an hour before the first school bell rang at Middletown High, police said senior Claire Knight, 17, was driving her SUV northbound along Old Middletown Road. Between Colebrook Lane and Bussard Road, Knight’s vehicle struck an FCPS school bus that was driving southbound, police said.

“Claire was a beloved member of the Middletown High School family,” said Michael Doerrer of FCPS. “This is a very close knit community, a very close knit school. The students, teachers and staff were extremely sad.”

Crews were on the scene reconstructing the fatal accident for hours, and said Knight’s vehicle struck the front end of the school bus.

The bus driver was sent to Frederick Memorial Hospital for minor injuries, and was later treated and released the same day. One student was on the bus at the time of the accident but did not sustain injuries, and was released to a guardian at the scene of the crash, police said.

“At the time of the accident, there was only one student on the school bus. That student was not injured,” said Deputy First Class Amanda Hatcher, with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Meanwhile at Middletown High, administrators released an email to the community informing them of the untimely tragedy, offering counseling services to those grappling with the loss.

“When tragedy occurs, community members pull together to help and support each other,” said principal Lee Jeffrey. “That’s what we will do here. Together, our school community will cope with this tragic loss.”

The Frederick County Sherriff’s Office reports Claire Knight’s cell phone was located in her back pocket. At this time, texting and driving is not believed to be the cause of the accident.

The investigation is ongoing and officials are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office at 301-600-7101. 

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