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County officials plead with public to not post scene photos after bus crash killed 11-year-old

Shortly after the fatal crash, Garfield County officials began to see posts circulating on social media about the incident and the days that followed, it got worse.

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — A school resource officer called out social media users this month, stating they made a horrific tragedy in the community even more traumatizing for a family that lost a loved one.

On March 3, Anna Backner died after tripping in front of a school bus in Parachute. Backner was just 11-years-old. 

"This little girl was my niece's best friend," Deputy James Miller said. "I had been on scene for about five minutes estimating and I started getting some text messages to my phones, my work phone and my personal phone of just people asking me what was going on and I was like how do you guys know about this?" 

Miller quickly realized social media was playing its part. Posts started circulating about the incident and the days that followed, it got worse.

"I started getting notifications that some kids had taken photos of the scene and that those were going around social media," Miller told 9NEWS. "I think we've gotten into this world where we don't stop and think about what the affects are when we post something that happened this horrific." 

Miller shared his concerns on Garfield County Sheriff's Facebook page. He hoped it would help people understand how posting photos of traumatic events on social media can create triggers.

An Important Perspective from our School Resource Officer. Please read and share. I had to deal with a horrible tragedy...

Posted by Garfield County Sheriff's Office - Colorado on Sunday, March 6, 2022

Dr. LaMont Moss a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente told 9NEWS those are triggers he sees regularly.

"It's not that social media has ill intent, but it doesn't have any thought about what effect it has on people," he explained. 

Moss stated social media plays a major role for a lot of the patients he treats. When traumatic events are reposted on news feeds, it could have a big impact on those trying to heal. 

"They're bombarded with it before they even get a chance to chose to not see it or not," he added. "It can be a step backwards and almost putting a restart of the whole process for them."

Moss encouraged those healing from a traumatic event to use filters on their social media to try and avoid seeing things that may be triggering. 

Miller hopes all social media users learn a lesson from this tragic situation and think twice before posting next time.

"Think before your post, think before you act and save everyone that trauma," he said. 

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