WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says 8-year-old Harmoney Marie Harper has died after she was hit by a school bus in Oaklawn on Wednesday. 

Harmoney Marie Harper


Harmoney was a 4th-grader at Oaklawn Elementary. 

"She has attended Derby Public Schools since Kindergarten, having first attended Cooper Elementary before moving to Oaklawn in first grade," USD 260 said. 

The accident happened at around 7:30 a.m. in the 3300 block of East Locust, which is near 47th Street South and Clifton. Capt. Benjamin Blick said Harmoney was waiting for her bus with her brother, darted out from between two cars and was struck by a different bus coming through the neighborhood.

It wasn't immediately clear how many people were on the Derby Public Schools bus, but Capt. Blick said no one onboard was hurt. 

“We want to speak with them, and get them away from the situation as soon as possible and we worked with the, the folks at Derby and the school district to get them out of there. As soon as we were done gathering their information and whatever, and interviewing them about what maybe they had seen.”

A neighbor told KAKE News she heard who she assumes was Harmoney's mother after the accident.

"She started screaming, 'oh my God, oh my God, my baby' and you can tell she was crying. She started pounding on something, maybe a car or something?"

Blick hopes that this tragic accident can act as a learning moment for parents and children. 

“If you live, you know, anywhere in proximity to a roadway you have got to have this conversation with your children about the dangers of the roadway. You know that vehicles can't stop on a dime."

The nearby neighbor says all she will be thinking about is Harmoney's family.  

“I just, I wish I could hug the mother right now. I wish that she knew that there are tons of people out here praying for her tonight.”

“She was full of compliments for everyone around her," said Oaklawn Elementary Principal Donna Osborn. "Any time you would see her, she had a smile on her face and was always the first to give everyone a hug each day. Her passing is a tremendous loss and Harmoney will be missed greatly at Oaklawn."

A GoFundMe account has been made to help with Harmoney's funeral. If you would like to donate click here.

USD 260 Superintendent Heather Bohaty released the following statement:

"It is with extreme sadness and a heavy heart that I am sharing with you (Wednesday) morning the death of an elementary student in the Oaklawn area. This student passed away in a tragic bus accident that is under investigation. We are heartbroken by the loss of one of our students. Students and staff will be supported by additional social workers from schools across our district. Due to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the district cannot release the identity of the student, however, we ask that each of you please keep this student and their loved ones in your thoughts during this unimaginable time. 

"News of this tragedy may have also reached other students throughout our schools. All children react differently to a loss such as this."

Bohaty included tips that may help during this difficult situation:

  • Encourage your child to feel and talk about their emotions. Let them know it is OK to feel sad, angry or confused about what happened, or even to feel nothing at all.
  • Reassure your child that they are safe and secure.
  • Explain truthfully, but gently, what has happened.
  • Offer warmth, affection and your physical presence.
  • Maintain the routine, stability and security in your child’s life as much as possible.
  • Listen. Listen. Listen.

"We will provide information that we may receive regarding opportunities to help the family once it becomes available," Bohaty said. "Derby Public Schools staff are here and ready to help support our students, staff and families cope with this loss."