A 9-year-old girl was killed and three children injured after being struck by a car that had struck a separate school bus near Desert Hot Springs Thursday afternoon.
Monique Gonzalez Guzman, 9, was killed, the coroner's office said late Thursday.
#BREAKING: We now know it was 9-year-old Monica Gonzalez Guzman who was killed in the crash. According to the coroner's report, she died about 20 minutes after it happened. May her memory be a blessing. ❤️ @KESQ— Jake Ingrassia (@JakeKESQ) December 10, 2021
A Cal Fire spokesperson told News Channel 3 that two children were seriously injured, another suffered minor injuries. Minutes later, one of the children was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the other vehicle involved was hospitalized as well.
The crash happened at the intersection of Aurora Road and Corkill Drive shortly before 4 p.m.
Officials later confirmed there were four victims in the crash.
A California Highway Patrol Captain told News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia that the driver of a white Cadillac struck the back of the school bus, then continued on around the bus, taking down a speed limit sign before striking four students who were walking home from a bus stop.
CHP is continuing to investigate the circumstances behind the crash.
News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia confirmed officers are treating this as a crime scene.
Joan Boiko, spokesperson for the Palm Springs Unified School District, confirmed that the school bus coming from Rancho Mirage High School. The students who were struck by the vehicle had been dropped off by a different school bus coming from Julius Corsini Elementary School, off of Hacienda.
Full Statement from PSUSD:
PSUSD officials were contacted shortly before 4:30 p.m. this afternoon following a report of one of our buses being hit from behind. We later learned that the driver who hit that bus continued to drive and struck four local students who had been dropped off at their bus stop and were on their way home. We subsequently learned that one of the children was killed and two others sustained injuries and were transported to a local hospital.
“It is overwhelming to hear and process this kind of tragic news,” said Supt. of Schools Dr. Mike Swize. “We want our families and staff to know that we are here for them to provide any supports they need now or in the coming days and weeks ahead. All of us at Palm Springs Unified extend our heartfelt condolences at this most difficult time.