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7-year-old girl killed in school bus crash near WordenPosted on April 22

7-year-old girl killed in school bus crash near WordenPosted on April 22

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BILLINGS - A 7-year-old girl was killed Monday when she was ejected from a school bus after it pulled into the path of a pickup truck east of Worden, authorities said.

Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Ayers said the girl, whose name has not been released, was ejected through a passenger-side window and died at the scene. She was not wearing a seat belt, said Capt. Keith Edgell with Montana Highway Patrol.

Edgell said the bus had stopped at an intersection and then pulled out to turn when it was hit on its passenger side, by a one-ton pickup pulling a trailer loaded with gravel. The accident occurred at 6:10 p.m.

Charges are pending against the bus driver, Roxanne Shult, 45, of Ballantine. Edgell said she had failed to yield to the oncoming pickup.

He said Shult may have been blinded by the setting sun, but likely would receive at least a misdemeanor traffic ticket. He said a decision on any further charges would be up to the Yellowstone County Attorney's office.

Shult and the driver of the pickup, Patricia Payer, 64, of Rosebud, were taken to St. Vincent Healthcare and treated for non life-threatening injuries, state Trooper Toman Baukema said.

The passenger in the pickup, Charles Goddard, 63, also of Custer, was taken to the hospital by helicopter.

The bus is owned by the Huntley Project School District, which has students in Worden, Ballantine, Huntley, and Pompeys Pillar.

Baukema said there were about a half dozen passengers on the bus, who were being taken home from a Huntley Project after school care program.

Baukema said speed and alcohol did not appear to be factors in the crash.

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