From our News Partners at WCBD-TV (via AP and WLTX-TV)
Authorities say a 6-year-old boy, who just had his birthday on Saturday, has been struck and killed while crossing U.S. Highway 178 to get to his bus stop in Orangeburg County.
Zion Toland, who was killed near his home, had just eaten breakfast in his normal morning routine and his 11-year-old brother had just crossed the highway when the crash happened.
"His mom actually said she made him his favorite breakfast this morning before he left to get on the bus," Shanquetta Toland, Zion's cousin, told WLTX-TV.
"He said goodbye to his mom and went out the door like he normally did."
Troopers said the bus was nearing the bus stop but had not made it when the boy crossed the road about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday.
Investigators say the boy was hit by a pickup truck going east not far from the town of North. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Zion's brother and grandfather saw the horrific crash, his cousin told WLTX.
"His older brother made it across the street and onto the bus but Zion never made it," said Shanquetta.
She says Zion and his brother were in their grandfathers car warming up while waiting for the bus to arrive.
"He saw the whole thing, he is not dealing with it well. He was the youngest, that is his grandbaby."
State troopers say the child was a student at Dover Elementary School in North.
The bus with 50 students on board was close by when the incident happened and students were aware of the crash.
A family member tells WLTX that the child had just celebrated his birthday last Saturday.
A special team of troopers from the Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.
Orangeburg District 5 officials say Counselors are being sent to the school to help teachers and students.
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