Eighth grader waiting for school bus gets hit and killed by truck, Florida cops say

Lake Wales Police Department

A truck struck and killed an eighth grader while he waited for the school bus, according to a Florida police department.

Jadin Galindo, 13, was sitting near the center of a paved alleyway about 30 feet from a main avenue waiting for his school bus on the morning of Feb. 3, according to a news release from the Lake Wales Police Department.

A 2013 GMC Sierra truck traveling east on the avenue turned onto the alleyway and struck Galindo at around 6:15 a.m., the release says. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said it was dark and foggy that morning and there were no street lights in the area. The only ambient light was coming from a nearby power plant, the release says.

Speed and impairment don’t appear to be factors in the crash, according to police. The investigation is ongoing.

Galindo was a student at McLaughlin Middle School in Lake Wales, about 55 miles southwest of Orlando, according to Polk County Public Schools. He was part of the school’s “Exceptional Student Education” program and was “beloved” by school staff. He also enjoyed caring for animals in the school’s agricultural department.

“He was a beacon of light on campus,” McLaughlin Principal Debra Hudson said in a statement. “His personality and energy impacted everyone he met. The students in his class, and our entire school family will miss him.”

Crisis counselors are present at McLaughlin to support students and staff members, according to Polk County Schools.

Galindo was “looking forward to becoming a high school freshman” next year, according to the principal. The school plans to make him an honorary member of his graduating class.

“We’re going to save a seat for him,” she said.

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