8-Year-Old Girl Killed in Kansas After Getting Hit by School Bus While Waiting for Her Own School Bus

Like most fourth-grade students in the Wichita, Kansas community, Harmoney Harper – an 8-year-old student at Oaklawn Elementary – was excited for the start of the new school year, which officially began on Tuesday (August 15). While her first day went well, her second day grew tragic before it even started. 

The little girl was waiting for her school bus with her brother outside their home on Wednesday (August 16) when she was hit by a school bus – a different bus than the one she was waiting for. First responders were quick to the scene, but Harper was unresponsive and was pronounced dead after undergoing CPR.

The incident occurred at around 7:20 a.m. on the 3300 block of E. Locust in Derby, Kansas. It’s unclear how many students were on the bus when the accident happened, but authorities confirmed there were no other injuries. Her mother and father were inside their home and came rushing out once they learned of what happened. 

RELATED: ‘Teen Mom’ Star Jenelle Evans Speaks Out After Her Teen Son Ran Away From School

“My wife said she heard my son screaming for his sister, and she came outside. I got woke up to ‘I need you now.’ I got dressed. Before I made it to the front door, I had heard, ‘Call 911, my daughter’s dead,’” said Jasper Harper – the little girl’s father. “She was playing outside her home, where she felt safe.”

Neighbors were alerted when they heard Harmoney’s mother scream ‘oh my God, oh my God, my baby’ – a cry for help no parent should grow accustomed to. “I just, I wish I could hug the mother right now. I wish that she knew that there are tons of people out here praying for her tonight,” one neighbor said in support.

Another nearby resident expressed her sorrow for the little girl’s family, but also said she feels for the bus driver “I can only imagine what the bus driver is feeling,” she said. “To hear the mother screaming ‘oh my god, oh my god,’ it just broke my heart.” Police officers said they don’t expect any charges to be filed. 

Shortly after the death of the little girl, her family created a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral costs. “If you are unable to make a donation, please leave prayers and encouraging words for this family,” the description reads. As of August 18, the page had received 550 donations for a total of $23,792. 

Kansas Community Has Nothing But Compliments for Harmoney

In the days following the little girl’s death, members of the Wichita, Kansas community have shared their personal experiences with Harmoney. One of those people who gushed over Harmoney – Oaklawn Elementary Principal Donna Osborn – said she was ‘full of compliments for everyone around her.’ 

“Any time you would see her, she had a smile on her face and was always the first to give everyone a hug each day. Her passing is a tremendous loss and Harmoney will be missed greatly at Oaklawn,” Osborn said. The superintendent of USD 260, Heather Bohaty, also shared her grief over the little girl’s passing. 

“We are heartbroken by the loss of one of our students,” Bohaty said – adding that ‘students and staff will be supported by additional social workers from schools across our district’ as they begin the grieving process. She also used the little girl’s death to teach parents how to best talk to their kids about death. 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Back-to-School: Tips for Quickly Getting Kids Ready in the Morning

Bohaty urged parents to encourage their children to be open about their emotions, reassure them that they’re safe and secure, be gentle when telling them the truth, offer warmth, affection and your physical presence, and maintain any routines they were in – while also teaching them the dangers of the road.

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.