A school bus turning onto busy Interstate 95 in Port Richmond struck and killed a bicyclist early yesterday.
The bicyclist, who carried no identification on him, remained unidentified yesterday.
The 6:07 a.m. incident happened on Aramingo Avenue near Church Street, as the northbound driver of an empty school bus tried to turn left onto the I-95 on ramp, said Officer Thomas O'Neill of the Accident Investigation Division.
The bus collided with the bicyclist, who was pedaling south on Aramingo, O'Neill said. The biker got trapped under the bus' rear wheels. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:24 a.m.
O'Neill described the driver, whose name wasn't released, as "experienced" and properly licensed.
He worked for Atlantic Express bus company; company representatives couldn't be reached for comment yesterday. The driver has not been charged.
The black-jacketed bicyclist was not wearing a helmet or reflective garb, and his 20-inch silver Mongoose BMX-style bike did not have bike lights, O'Neill said. Although the skies were still dark when the incident occurred, the dry stretch of road has working street lights, O'Neill added.
With 38,000 students being bused on 1,307 routes daily, school-bus accidents are an almost daily occurrence in Philadelphia, with 351 last year, according to school district statistics.
But they're more often fender-benders or not serious enough to cause grave injuries, district spokesman Fernando Gallard said.
Yesterday's accident was only the third fatality involving a school bus in Philadelphia in more than 25 years, Gallard said. About a quarter of the 1,450 people killed nationally in school-bus accidents since 1990 were bicyclists or pedestrians, according to national school-bus safety statistics.
Yesterday's accident will be studied by a district review committee to assess preventability and to decide whether the driver should be disciplined, Gallard said. That process is routine with all school-bus accidents in the city, he added.
Anyone who witnessed yesterday's accident or might know the victim is asked to call the Accident Investigation Division at 215-685-3180.