Family of Plainfield girl who died in bus accident trying to change bus safety laws

Franklin County

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been three years since nine-year-old Summer Steele was killed in a tragic bus accident in Plainfield. Summer’s mom told us that the support the family has received each year is overwhelming and now they’re taking action to change bus safety.

When you go through Shelburne Falls, you might see heart pumpkin, after heart pumpkin, after heart pumpkin.

Summer’s mom, Amanda Gaffigan Steele told 22News that days after Summer died, her whole street in Plainfield was filled with heart-carved pumpkins. She said her neighbor came up with the idea.

Summer died after being run over by her school bus in 2016.

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t hear from somebody or multiple people regarding Summer. You know strangers across the state, the country, even in other countries,” Steele told 22News.

Now the family gets photos of the heart-carved pumpkins from all over.

One Shelburne Falls family is donating the money from their annual Halloween event to the Summer Steel Scholarship Fund, something they said they’ll do every year.

“Our kids are precious and we need them to be safe when they’re going to school and coming home, and the scholarship fund is amazing opportunity to put some money towards the kids in this area,” Dana Cusimano told 22News.

With help from State Senator Adam Hinds, Summer’s family trying to pass a law to improve school bus safety. “Summer’s Law” would require door sensors, and more bus driver training.

“As far as school bus safety goes, it’s something that my husband immediately knew he wanted to do,” Steele said.

Summer died after getting caught in the door while getting off the bus.

The house raising money for the Summer Steele Scholarship Fund will be playing Halloween movies tonight on Mechanic Street in Shelburne Falls.

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