Prince George's County Fire reports a woman is dead after being struck in the parking lot of Samuel Chase Elementary School in Temple Hills.
The school bus-yellow maintenance van was backing up slowly. For some reason, a woman taking a shortcut across the school parking lot walked right behind the van.
Investigators believe she was in the driver's blind spot and the van rolled up and over her.
The woman was identified as Bernette Tucker Butler, 48, of the 5900 block of Moritz Drive inTemple Hills.
Mark Sanders watched from across the street school employees frantically try to free the woman by pushing the van. There was nothing they could do.
"How unfortunate," Sanders said. "What a sad accident. Here's a lady and now she's lying on the sidewalk over there deceased. And here's three workers who came to work today to make an honest living and they have to deal with this tragedy as well."
School was not in session when the incidents happened because of an in-service day for teachers. Police sources say their investigation points to a freak accident and it's unlikely anyone will face charges.
"The driver has been cooperative," says Cpl. Larry Johnson of the Prince George's County police. "What we believe is that the van was backing up and the driver did not see the older woman."