A bus monitor in New Jersey faces manslaughter charges following the death of a special needs student riding the bus to school on Monday. The youngster was just six years old.
According to a press release issued by Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald’s office, police in Franklin Township were called at approximately 9 a.m. on Monday after reports of an unconscious child.
The responding officers immediately performed CPR on the 6-year-old, Faja Williams, until the arrival of emergency medical personnel, who took her to the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Detectives from the department and the Major Crimes Unit of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation and learned that the 6-year-old girl had attended an extended school year program at Claremont Elementary School in Somerset.
The child is required aid with mobility.
The bus monitor, a 27-year-old woman named Amanda Davila, positioned the child and her wheelchair at the back of the bus after boarding.
The prosecutor’s office claims that the 6-year-old child sat hunched over in her seat due to a series of bumps on the route. This resulted in the 4-point harness restricting her airway by tightening around her neck. The accident ultimately proved fatal for the young girl, who the family says was non-communicative.
Information obtained by detectives suggests that Davila was sitting in a forward-facing position at the front of the bus while talking on his phone with headphones in both ears. Both business policy and standard operating procedure prohibit such conduct.
Medical personnel at Faja’s school reportedly gave first aid before transporting her to a nearby hospital, where her mother met her.
An inquiry led to Davila’s arrest on Wednesday, said the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.
After being charged with second-degree homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, she was detained in the Somerset County Jail pending a hearing.
The prosecutor’s office in Somerset County claims to have video footage as proof, but the victim’s loved ones have expressed little interest in viewing it.