An elderly man has died after he was struck by a school bus in New Britain on Wednesday morning.
New Britain police and firefighters were called to a serious crash involving a school bus and a pedestrian near the intersection of North and Clark streets around 7:30 a.m.
According to police, the bus, which is owned by DATTCO, was heading up the hill on North Street when it made the turn onto Clark Street and hit Charles Mercurio, 81, who investigators believe was trying to cross the road.
"I look at him he had blood coming out of his head," said eyewitness Hector Fernandez, who called 911 once the crash occurred.
Mercurio was taken to St. Francis Hospital where he died a short time later.
Neither one of the two students on the bus, who were from the New Britain Alternative High School, were seriously injured. The students were transported to school by another DATTCO van.
The driver, whose name has not been released, was emotional, according to witnesses.
"I went for a minute to the bus driver, he was crying bad," Fernandez said. "He was, I feel sorry for him, he was crying a lot."
Officials from the DATTCO Bus company were also called to the scene. The DATTCO Bus company is expected to contribute to the investigation, along with police and the state Department of Motor Vehicles. No charges have been filed at this time.
"He's an experienced school bus driver," said Cliff Gibson of DATTCO Inc. "He's got a number of years in the business and he's got a good clean record. This is his normal route."
The crash closed Clark Street down for a few hours Wednesday morning while police conducted an investigation.
"DATTCO extends our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Charles Mercurio," Gibson said in a statement Wednesday. "We are cooperating fully with all law enforcement officials in the ongoing investigation, and so cannot offer additional comment at this time."
North Street was also the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident involving Jackson DeJesus, 17, at the end of July.
"It's bad," said Geronimo Fletcher about the stretch of road.
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