updated 5/23/2006 8:42:23 AM ET 2006-05-23T12:42:23

An 8-year-old boy was arrested on homicide charges after he sneaked onto a bus which rolled forward and fatally struck a second-grader, police said Tuesday.

The boy was to be charged with criminally negligent homicide, Officer Doris Garcia said. Police were withholding his name because of his age, she said.

Amber Sadiq was crossing the street near her school when she was struck by the bus in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. Police believe the boy was alone on the bus, Garcia said.

Investigators believe the driver got off the bus and secured it but the boy may have gotten inside through the back door, an emergency exit that can't be locked, and caused the bus to move, police spokeswoman Detective Theresa Farello said.

"She tried to run but the garbage can was in the way," said 12-year-old Kassandra Polanco, who saw the bus bearing down on the girl.

Deli worker Sam Ahmad said he saw the girl under the bus and called 911. He said he and about a dozen other men tried to lift the yellow bus to free her but it was too heavy.

Police said the girl was 8; the Department of Education said she was 7.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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