Syracuse police said the death of a 9-year-old boy who was hit by a school bus appears to be an accident.

"No citations will be issued," Syracuse Police Lt. Tracy Jensen said Thursday. "There's just no way we can prove the bus driver did anything to cause this. It was just an accident."

Meanwhile, grief counselors were overwhelmed with students wishing to talk about the tragedy.

"A lot of crying, a lot of sobbing here," Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams said outside West Point Elementary, where Daniel Duplain was in the fourth grade.

Police said Daniel had gotten off the school bus Wednesday afternoon near 850 S. 2695 West in Syracuse, crossed the street and was last seen by the bus driver standing on the corner. Investigators on Thursday said it appears Duplain had tried to cross the road again, and the back wheel of the school bus struck him.

Police and paramedics responded within minutes to the accident. The boy was flown by helicopter to Ogden Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said the investigation is ongoing, but is expected to wrap up by the end of the week. The name of the bus driver will not be released until the end of the investigation, Jensen said.

At West Point Elementary, five counselors were sent to the school to help students cope with their grief. They ended up calling five more.

"They were overwhelmed at the need for students to talk with counselors," Williams said. "Those who did know him seemed to be shaken up."

Crisis counselors were also sent to the district's transportation office to help bus drivers deal with the trauma. The driver is a 10-year veteran who knew the children on her route, Williams said.

"They see them in the morning and they see them in the afternoon and to have this happen ... ," he said.

A memorial service for the fourth-grader will be 4 p.m. Saturday at the scene of the accident. Neighbors plan to release balloons into the sky in the boy's memory, Williams said.


E-mail: [email protected]