Saturday, 2:15 PM
Marlborough kindergartner chokes to death on school bus
By Lisa Kocian, Globe Staff
MARLBOROUGH -- City officials today identified the student who died after choking while riding a school bus home as 5-year-old Darnell Cobb.
"It's a parent's worst nightmare,'' said Fire Chief David Adams, whose paramedics responded to the bus and tried to save the child Wednesday around 3:30 p.m. The child was rushed to Marlborough Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His mother and a younger sibling had been rushed to the hospital in a police cruiser, officials said.
Mayor Nancy Stevens told reporters this morning she was confident that responding emergency officials did what they could for Cobb. "I have the utmost confidence that our paramedics did everything they could,'' she said while describing the child's death as a "horrible accident.''
City officials said the bus driver was alerted to the trouble by a child sitting next to Cobb. The driver immediately pulled over and radioed in that a medical emergency was underway, officials said. Paramedics from the central fire station on Maple Street responded to the bus, which had stopped a few hundred yards away, officials said.
Stevens said she spoke with the bus driver. "Obviously the bus driver is very broken up,'' she said. Officials said the bus was carrying 20 children, from kindergarten through third grade who attend the Francis J. Kane elementary school, at the time of the 3:30 p.m. incident. Grief counselors are at the Kane school today.
Officials declined to say what Cobb choked on except to describe it as a foreign object. An autopsy is to be done within a few days and should provide more details on the item, officials said.
The bus was operated by First Student Inc., a Cincinnati-based company that transports 4 million students across the country each day.
“The driver followed all the correct procedures that he was trained to do,” said Nicole Maddock, a First Student spokeswoman. “He pulled over, he called for an ambulance service, and secured the bus for medical personnel.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the student who died,” Maddock said.
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