Special Needs Transportation

Documents show bus girl jumped from had wrong number of aides

Posted on January 10, 2013

RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Documents from a contract between a school district and the company that was providing its special-needs bus service show that the bus from which a student jumped did not have the correct number of aides, The Record reports.

As previously reported, the girl suffered serious head trauma in the incident, which investigators believed she sustained when she either fell or jumped from the back of her school bus after opening the emergency hatch.   

Lt. John Russo of the Rutherford Police Department told the news source at the time that the bus was carrying the girl, Onyx Williams, and three other students who attend a school for children with special needs. The driver and one aide were also on board.

Now, The Record reports that a copy of the contract between Paterson Public Schools and its former contractor, K&M Transportation, shows that the company had agreed in September to assign two aides to Williams’ route.

(According to a story from PatersonPress.com, the district terminated its contract with the company following the accident, finding in its investigation that K&M Transportation had violated "certain terms and conditions of the contract.")

Williams died over the weekend after doctors attempted to treat her for a fractured skull. The police investigation into the incident remains active, but no one has been charged, and investigators are attributing the death to a “tragic accident,” Lt. Patrick Feliciano, spokesman for the Rutherford Police Department, told The Record.

To read the full story from The Record, click here.

Related Topics: fatalities, New Jersey

Comments ( 1 )
  • Ray

     | about 5 years ago

    this is a prime example of administrators and teachers not understanding transportation and what decisions should be made about transportation when creating or amending a students IEP. There were other "restrictions" that could have been utilized to prevent this from happening. Putting two additional adults on a route is not always the answer. What about a safety vest, behavior intervention plan, trained staff in CPI to ride the route. The majority of transportation professionals have little chance in physically detaining and many school districts shy away from the expensive training protocols needed to help staff in these type situations. As the number of students requiring specialized transportation increases; school districts need to be just as proactive in creating viable bus intervention plans for students just the same as they do for the classrooms.

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