June Brown "loved her job" working with children, both as a bus attendant and a classroom aide, her husband said last night.
Police said Brown, 55, was struck and killed by a Philadelphia School District bus just before 6 a.m. yesterday at the Widener bus garage, at Ogontz and Olney avenues in West Oak Lane.
No students were inside the bus at the time, police said.
Her husband, Alan Brown, a school district police officer, said his wife had been a bus attendant for 18 years. When the No Child Left Behind law was created five years ago, she took a test to become "highly qualified" to work as a school aide.
Last night, Alan Brown talked at his family's Feltonville home about her work.
Two American flags hang at the Rorer Steet house. Brown said their only child, a son, served in the Marines until a couple of years ago.
Every day, June Brown would finish her rounds as a bus attendant, return to the Widener garage and travel by SEPTA to work as an aide at the Andrew J. Morrison Elementary School at 3rd Street and Dun-cannon Avenue, he said.
Siani Galarza, 11, the Browns' next-door neighbor and a sixth-grader at Russell Conwell Middle School, said June Brown had been an aide in her class when she was in third grade at the Barton School, Rosehill and C streets.
"She was nice," Galarza said. "She did what she had to do and then left. She didn't have an attitude. She was very quiet. She was real private."
To investigate the accident, police closed down the garage, from which about 90 bus routes operate, school district spokesman Fernando Gallard said.
About 20 buses had left the depot before the accident. That left 70 buses locked down and not able to pick up nearly 3,000 children, Gallard said. The children were left waiting in 10-degree temperatures, in some cases for up to two hours, according to news reports. The district asked city and district police to help pick up the stranded children.
The Widener garage has operated for 30 years, "and there has never been a fatality or accident involving a pedestrian," Gallard said.
Police said the accident was still under investigation late yesterday afternoon. They did not identify the bus driver. *