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Ben Franklin student fatally struck by school bus was featured in 2020 story on WWL-TV

Belle Adelman-Cannon, a rising senior at Franklin, was featured in a story by WWL-TV's Mike Perlstein in 2020.

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Police Department is investigating a traffic fatality in the area of 100 Zachary Taylor Drive that left a Benjamin Franklin High School student dead, according to a press release.

17-year-old Belle Adelman-Cannon was a rising senior.

The incident happened at around 3:04 p.m. on Saturday, the press release said. The driver of a school bus was traveling eastbound on Zachary Taylor Drive when she struck Adelman-Cannon.

Adelman-Cannon was transported to the hospital and later died from the injuries. 

"Please keep Belle's family and friends in your thoughts as they mourn this unfathomable tragedy," said Dr. Patrick Widhalm, who is the Head of School at Ben Franklin. "We will share details about services and ways to support their family as they become available."

The Orleans Parish Coroner has not yet conducted an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

The NOPD said the investigation is currently ongoing.

"Anyone with information about this accident is urged to contact NOPD at (504) 821-2222 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111, toll-free at 1-877-903-7867."

Adelman-Cannon was featured in a story by WWL-TV's Mike Perlstein during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adelman-Cannon was making colorful surgical masks to pass the time between her on-line school lessons. 

Sewing circles were popping up across the country with people making masks, but few of them were 14-years-old. Belle's mission soon added some friends. 

“I started realizing that it was actually a necessity, that people were going to actually start needing them,” said Adelman-Cannon.

When Belle pulled out the sewing machine, mother Laura wasn't surprised.

“That's just the kind of young woman she is. She always keeps busy. She's independent. And very crafty,” she said. “Since she was the littlest three-year-old she made her own dolls.”

Now that Belle’s hobby has become a critical mission, Laura, a New Orleans school principal, couldn't be prouder.

“This seemed a really good productive use of time that is calming and something you can control when so much in your life is out of your control,” Laura Adelman-Cannon said. “And not something at all she'd want to turn into something social and positive for the community. You're in a community with other people. And I think that's important for all of us to feel that way.”

“I think it's really important that because so many people have so much time on their hands and they should do something meaningful with it,” Belle said. “People need to help other people in need because this isn't going to be the last time something scary like this happens.”

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