A 13-year-old schoolgirl in Brazil died after she leaned out of a window of a moving school bus and was hit by a pole in her head. Fernanda Pacheco was on her way home from school on a public transportation bus last Wednesday in Nova Friburgo, a city in Rio de Janeiro, when the tragic incident happened.
Pacheco was reportedly waving to her classmates when her head hit the pole and suffered fatal injuries. She was a student of Rio de Janeiro's Professor Carlos Côrtes State College, Brazilian media reported. The bus driver, who has worked for the firm for more than 10 years, then informed the relevant authorities and the company's management team.
According to reports from the Brazilian news outlet G1, witnesses said that Pacheco was seated on the back row of bus number 491 when she leaned her head out of the left-side window while the bus was moving.
The bus was traveling down Luis Catarcione Road, which is a narrow, two-way street when it tried to maneuver around parked cars on the right side. At the same time, the schoolgirl was trying to catch the attention of her classmates on the sidewalk and waved to them.
Passengers on the bus reacted promptly by shouting at the driver, who brought the bus to a halt. The quick-thinking driver, a 13-year veteran of the bus company, Nova Faol, then informed the authorities as well as the transit firm's management.
The fire department quickly responded to an emergency call and, upon arrival declared Pacheco dead at the scene. Subsequently, a private funeral service was held for Pacheco on Thursday.
Police have launched an investigation and are yet to officially announce the cause of Pacheco's death. The Rio de Janeiro Ministry of Education lamented Pacheco's tragic death.
"The Secretary of State for Education deeply regrets the accident that occurred with a student from the Professor Carlos Côrtes State School, in the Catarcione neighborhood, in Nova Friburgo, on Wednesday, during her trip back home," it said in a statement.
"Seeduc sympathizes with the immense pain of the family and has been providing all the assistance to it and the school community," wrote the official, who suspended classes for two days so the community could mourn Fernanda's passing.
"We deeply regret the unexpected and tragic situation, reiterating that all the company's support teams are mobilized and committed to minimizing the inevitable inconvenience," the bus operator, Nova Faol, said in a statement.