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Girl, 11, dies after tripping in front of moving school bus in Parachute

Annaliese Backner_Parachute bus crash.jpg
Posted at 10:20 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 17:55:14-05

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — An 11-year-old girl died after she ran to catch her school bus in Parachute, tripped in front of the vehicle and was run over.

The incident happened around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the Parachute Police Department. Police did not provide an exact location.

In addition to the Parachute Police Department, the Garfield County Sheriff's Office and Grand Valley Fire also responded to the area.

The girl was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to police. She was identified Friday morning as Annaliese (Anna) Backner, of Parachute. She was a sixth-grader at Grand Valley Middle school in Parachute.

ABC News affiliate KJCT spoke with a neighbor in the area who said the bus had left the bus stop after picking up other children, and the young girl was running to catch it.

"We're just all in disbelief," Wendy Thibault said. "It's a small community."

She added that the town will pull together to heal and support the family.

"I'm thinking about the bus driver, the little girl's family, all the kids, the first responders," Thibault said.

Parachute is a small municipality along I-70 in Garfield County between Rifle and Grand Junction.

This is an active investigation, police said.

The Garfield County Coroner’s Office said her investigated cause of death was blunt force injuries, and the manner of death was accidental.

The department said it is not releasing any other information.

In a Facebook post on the Garfield County Sheriff's Office's page, Deputy James Miller, school resource officer, asked the community to pray for the victim and their family instead of posting about the accident on social media. He said spreading rumors on social media is dangerous, not only for victims' families but for others.