Oaklawn Elementary in Wichita, Kansas, welcomed eight-year-old Harmoney Harper earlier this month with the enthusiasm of many other kids.
Her loved ones and the neighborhood are in utter disbelief that Harmoney, after having a fantastic first day, did not survive to see the second.
Another school bus ran over Harmoney and her brother on Wednesday, August 16th, as they waited outside their house for the school bus.
Despite the best efforts of the first responders who raced to the site, she did not respond and died as a result.
It is still unknown how many students were on the bus when this tragic event happened at about 7:20 in the morning. Since then, officials have verified that no more injuries have occurred.
Jasper Harper, Harmoney’s father, recounted the dreadful sequence of events, saying: “My wife said she heard my son screaming for his sister, and she came outside. I got woke up to ‘I need you now.’ I got dressed. Before I made it to the front door, I had heard, ‘Call 911, my daughter’s dead.’ She was playing outside her home, where she felt safe.”
No parent should ever have to scream, “Oh my God, oh my God, my baby,” but Harmoney’s mother did just that, alerting neighbors to the tragedy. One neighbor recalled: “I just 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.”
“I can only imagine what the bus driver is feeling,” another neighbor said, expressing grief for both the driver and Harmoney’s family. “To hear the mother screaming ‘oh my god, oh my god,’ it just broke my heart.” Authorities have stated that they would not be pressuring anyone to face charges over the event.
The family of Harmoney has established a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of her funeral after the terrible death of their daughter. The description of the campaign reads: “If you are unable to make a donation, please leave prayers and encouraging words for this family.”
At the time of writing, the page had garnered 650 donations, totaling $30,031.
Community people in Wichita, Kansas have spoken out about their relationships with Harmoney in the days after the girl’s death. Principal Donna Osborn of Oaklawn Elementary School gushed over Harmoney, calling her “full of compliments for everyone around her.”
She continued, “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.”
The girl’s death has saddened Superintendent Heather Bohaty as well.
“We are heartbroken by the loss of one of our students,” she remarked, adding that “students and staff will be supported by additional social workers from schools across our district” as they grieve.
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The family and friends of Harmoney are in our prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.
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