The crash happened just before 10:30 p.m. on North Tryon Street near the intersection of Sugar Creek Road in northeast Charlotte.
Police said 20-year-old Polly Rogers died after she fell out of the emergency window of a Charlotte Party Charters bus and was hit by two cars.
"The cars hit her before they could even get the bus driver to stop the bus," a father of one of the other passengers on board told WSOC. "My heart goes out to the parents because my son was standing right there."
Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App
He also explained how it happened.
"The girl leaned against the window - which evidently was an emergency exit window - and my son says the latches were broke, evidently, and she fell out," he said. "I don't think the girl did anything wrong. All she did was lean against the window."
Officers said Rogers fell out of a window on the right side of the bus as it was moving, and landed in the center lane of North Tryon Street before being struck.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Family and friends are now mourning the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority member.
"Polly was the friendliest person you would ever meet in your life," said Zeta Tau Alpha Chapter President Alexis Marie Burns. "She could always be found in the common areas of the house greeting sisters after their day at classes and making sure their day was going great."
Rogers was an emerging leader in her chapter, and served in multiple roles, including the recruitment committee.
UNCC said she was studying special education at the Cato College of Education.