WHITTIER, Calif. — Bus agency Pupil Transportation Cooperative (PTC) announced in a news conference it will upgrade its safety practices immediately following the death of a 19-year-old autistic student on one of its buses last week, KABC reports.
The agency said there will be a top-to-bottom analysis of its procedures, and will push for electronic notification devices to be installed in its buses, the news source reports. Additionally, two adults will now monitor every bus to make sure no student is left on board. PTC also donated $10,000 to Lee’s family, according to KABC.
Hun Joon Lee, also known as Paul, was found dead in in an empty school bus that was parked in the agency’s bus yard last Friday afternoon. His family believes that he was left alone for hours on the bus during one of the hottest days of the summer, with temperatures reaching the triple digits in some areas.
Lee was apparently forgotten by a substitute bus driver, according to the news source. PTC spokesman Tom DeLapp said in the news conference that the investigation into Lee’s death is ongoing, and the bus driver is on administrative leave. DeLapp added that the substitute driver was a 10-year veteran who may not have known Lee's limitations. However, there is evidence the driver did not conduct a standard child-check procedure, which is included in the bus operator manual, but signed off on the procedure, according to the news source.
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