A memorial was set up at the spot where Muhammed Saifullah Elsyaf was standing when he was fatally struck. Credit: By Andrew Schotz

This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. April 7, 2022, to add the identity of the boy who died and at 11:05 a.m. April 8 to add more details from police. It was updated again at 12:05 p.m. April 8 to correct the boy’s name, which was misspelled in the letter Ashburton Elementary School Principal Gregory Mullenholz sent to school families.

A 7-year-old Ashburton Elementary School student who was hit by a car on Wednesday morning while waiting for a school bus has died, according to police and school district officials.

On Friday, Montgomery County police identified the boy who died as Muhammad Haekal Saifullah Elsyaf.

“It goes without saying that we’re extremely saddened,” MCPS spokesman Chris Cram said in an interview. “It’s terrible, the loss of any young child, and we really feel deeply for this family and the school community.”

In a letter to the school community on Thursday afternoon, Ashburton Principal Gregory Mullenholz asked families who knew Muhammad to “remember and celebrate his joyous smile” and those who didn’t to “respect that there are feelings of sadness throughout our larger school community and to support us with your understanding.”

Muhammad was waiting at the Montgomery County Public Schools bus stop with his father and 18-month-old sibling at about 8:20 a.m., near the intersection of King Charles Way and Grosvenor Lane in Bethesda, according to police.


The driver of a 2002 Honda Accord was traveling west on King Charles Way and about to turn on to Grosvenor Lane, but the vehicle “left the roadway” and hit the family, police said. The car then went back onto the road, crossed both lanes and left the road again.

The 7-year-old boy was taken to a hospital with critical injuries. The father had minor injuries and the infant was not injured, according to police.

The driver of the Honda, who was not identified in a police press release, was not injured. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation, police said.


Police said in a press release on Friday that the investigation into what happened was still underway. If there are charges against the driver, they would be considered after the investigation is finished, in consultation with the state’s attorney’s office, the press release said.

In his letter, Mullenholz wrote that additional counselors and psychologists are available for students, staff members and families.

In December 2019, a 9-year-old Bradley Hills Elementary School student died after being hit by a school bus she had just exited. The girl had gotten off the bus and was running back toward it when she was struck, police said at the time.


The next morning, a Walter Johnson High School student was seriously injured when he was hit by a car while crossing Montrose Road to board a school bus.

Bethesda Beat reporter Dan Schere contributed to this story.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdda-remix.newspackstaging.com