PLAINFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was six years ago Friday that nine-year-old Summer Steele was killed in a school bus accident in Plainfield after her backpack became stuck in the bus door.
This day, she was looking forward to attending a school Halloween dance dressed as a Tootsie Roll. After Summer didn’t make it home, the community came together and carved heart pumpkins that lined the family’s street for days and weeks to come. Ever since then, at this time of year, heart pumpkins have been placed around western Franklin and Hampshire Counties in her memory.
Additionally, around Christmas time, ornaments are hung on a town Christmas tree. Pumpkins and sunflowers are also planted in her name in the Spring.
Summer’s family created a scholarship fund in her memory at the Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland.
There has also been advocacy for a change to state law, to increase school bus safety such as by providing sensors on school bus doors.
The bus driver, 71-year-old Tendzin Parsons, was charged in the 2016 death of Summer Steele and was sentenced to one year in jail.