Forgotten On School Bus: Special Needs Student Found Dead (VIDEO)

A special needs student who attended the Whittier, CA Sierra Educational Center’s Transition Program was found dead in a school bus parked at the adjacent bus depot. The 19-year-old was found when his mother reported him missing after he didn’t come home on time.

The teen was found slumped in the aisle and in “full arrest.” Bus drivers who found him and officers at the scene did try CPR but it was too late. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Temperatures in the Los Angeles area on Friday were well into the 90s. The boy had apparently been on the bus all day in the heat. While it is possible that he had died because of the heat, the police have labeled his death as “suspicious.”

A school district official made this official statement:

“We are still gathering information about what happened. The district is calling for a speedy and thorough investigation to determine how something like this could happen. Our hearts are with our student’s parents and family — we’re all grieving. We’re making ourselves, our counseling services and our staff available to his family and to our students and staff who were close to him.”

How such a thing could happen is a question that has been asked at other school districts. A 4-year-old special needs student was left on a bus in Goleta, CA in July. A Louisiana third-grader was left on a bus last November. An 8-year-old student died after being left on a bus in Connecticut in March. And in Thurston County, WA a 6-year-old special needs student was forgotten on his school bus for 7 hours last year.

In response to that Thurston County case, the North Thurston County School District has outfitted their busses with alarms. When a bus is parked and shut off, the alarm sounds. To turn it off, the driver must walk to the back of the bus, where the switch is located. Simple but effective. The drivers think so, too. One told King 5 News:

“It’s going to be a good reminder for us to go back there just to make sure because students do sleep. It’s horrible to think some kindergartener or first grader is still asleep and two, three hours wake up and wonder ‘where am I?’ It’s great to have this on here. I think it will be a real benefit for us.”

The cost? A grand total of $8,000 to outfit the 130 busses that transport almost 14,000 students every day. A mere pittance when it comes to student safety.

Here is the report from ABC10 in San Diego:

Featured image via video screen capture