A six-year-old boy was killed and his mother seriously injured today after they were hit by a bus while walking to school.
The tragedy took place at 9am in the quiet village of Woodborough, near Pewsey, Wilts.
It’s understood the boy and his mother had been walking together along the road when they were hit by the bus – which was not carrying any passengers.
The bus was reversing after hitting a tractor – moments after dropping a number of children at Woodborough Primary School, just 35 yards away from the spot of the tragedy.
Emergency services rushed to the scene and airlifted the mother and her son to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.
The youngster, named by the school as Finlay Connor, sadly died in the hospital. His mother, Nicola Connor, is currently in a serious but stable condition in Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol.
A 52-year-old man, believed to be the bus driver, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released on police bail pending further enquiries.
A spokesman for Great Western Ambulance Service added: ”We received the first of several 999 calls at 8.59am reporting that a woman and young boy, estimated to be five to six years old, had been struck by a bus outside the school.
”The woman was reported as being trapped under the bus.
”The child sustained a serious head injury and had gone into cardiac arrest on scene.
”He was flown by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to Great Western Hospital in Swindon, where a trauma team were standing by.
”Unfortunately, I understand it has now been confirmed that the patient has died.
”The female patient has now been flown by the Great Western Air Ambulance to Frenchay Hospital near Bristol with serious multiple injuries, including to pelvis, abdomen and legs
“They are believed to be life-threatening at this stage.”
Two ambulances, two air ambulances, a doctor and paramedics were at the scene with five minutes of the first 999 call.
They worked with treating the woman trapped under the bus and quickly airlifted the pair to Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wilts.
The accident happened in front of horrified children at the local primary school, who are now receiving counselling.
A spokesman for Woodborough Primary School, where pupils are aged between four and 11, said the teachers and staff had been ”deeply affected” by the tragedy.
He said: ”We are all deeply affected by the death, but we are trying, for the children’s sake, to keep the school as normal as possible over the coming days, while allowing the children opportunities to talk about this tragedy if they want.
”Trained staff from the critical incident team are helping to support us through this difficult time.
”Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time and the whole community sends them our sincerest sympathy and support.”
A spokeswoman for Bodman Coaches refused to comment on the incident, but confirmed the bus involved was operated by the firm.