6-year-old girl tried to catch Conroe ISD school bus when she was fatally hit, police say

CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- Family and friends are devastated by the tragic death of a 6-year-old girl.

The fatal accident happened at the intersection of Betty and Fryer, at a school bus stop frequented by all the children in the neighborhood.

"She was here," said grandmother Candy Zabala, pointing to the area right in front of the family's mobile home.

Zabala says the school bus was late, so Sophia and her father had walked back to their home so the father could take the family's newborn baby inside.

"He went to just take Gracie in the house and in the blink of an eye, she saw the bus coming," Zabala said. "I guess she thought she saw the bus, she's going to run over there."

"My mom actually heard the scream," said neighbor Melanie Estrada. "After she screamed, I ran after it, and I saw her, and she was bleeding from her head and her mouth."

Estrada tried to help the little girl the best she could.

"I tried to do what I know," she said. "I checked for her pulse. She barely had anything, it wasn't really there. So I made the 911 call."

Medics called to the scene started life-saving procedures. Sophia was rushed to Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands where she died of her injuries.

Conroe police interviewed witnesses and reviewed dashcam video from the school bus as part of their on-going investigation of the tragic crash.

By nightfall, a memorial had sprung up at the bus stop. Family members brought pink and purple balloons to the site, and children gathered around a framed photo of Sophia.

Crisis counselors will be available to students and staff at Anderson Elementary School, according to school district officials.

They added in a statement, "We are heartbroken and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all who have been impacted by this devastating loss."

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