Some parents suggest towering snowbanks may have played a role in the death of a student who was struck and killed by a school bus outside of Sydney Academy Wednesday afternoon.

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board said two students were “playing around” when one student fell under the moving vehicle.

Police have identified him as 18-year-old Christopher Walter Chafe of Grand Mira North.

An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.

Some students were still in class, while others were outside waiting for the bus when the accident occurred around 2:20 p.m.

Police asked CBRM crews to cut down and clear the banks along the street outside the school on Thursday, but some say it’s too little too late.

“If they had cleaned it up first, this accident wouldn’t have happened,” said local resident Mark Douglas MacEachern.

“If you had kids attending this school, wouldn’t you want the snow banks removed where the buses were picking them up?” said Seward MacLean, whose daughter attends the school.

The flag outside Sydney Academy flew at half-mast on Thursday, while flowers marked the spot where Chafe was killed.

“A lot of students know the individual. Anytime we have a loss of life it’s difficult for the whole school community,” said school board spokesman Charles Sheppard.

Classes were cancelled Thursday, but the school remained open and grief counsellors were available for students seeking support.

MacLean’s daughter was among those who decided to stay home.

“She was devastated. All the kids are devastated,” he said.

Classes will resume Friday and grief counsellors will remain on hand, school officials said.

Sheppard said a crisis team is also working with the bus driver and the bus ground supervisor.

The bus has been seized and will be checked by the vehicle compliance department, police said.

Forensic identification and traffic safety units are still investigating.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore and The Canadian Press