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N.J. School Bus Strikes and Kills Toddler

November 6, 2003 GMT

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. (AP) _ A school bus struck and killed a toddler early Wednesday as it pulled away from a curb, authorities said.

One-year-old Abigail Kuberiet was pronounced dead several blocks from the scene, said Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Nick Sewitch.

The bus hit the child after picking up her sibling en route to Franklin Elementary School, Sewitch said. The victim was the daughter of another assistant county prosecutor.

The driver, John Mazzeo, 63, did not know he had hit anyone, and drove several blocks before being called by radio to stop, authorities said.

The bus was carrying an unknown number of kindergartners, who were transferred onto another bus. Sewitch said they were not aware of what had happened.

The driver, who has 10 years experience, has a valid driver’s license, and was cooperating with the investigation. No charges had been filed.

A preliminary investigation indicated no alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident and that weather was not a factor, Sewitch said.