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Bus monitor charged in death of child on a school bus in Somerset County

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – A Middlesex County woman has been charged in relation to circumstances surrounding a school bus ride in Franklin Township on Monday, which led to a child’s death, according to Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald.

On Monday, July 17, at around 9:04 a.m., police responded to a local school for a call for an unresponsive juvenile. Upon responding to the location, officers administered CPR to the 6-year-old girl.

The girl was transported to an area hospital’s intensive care unit and was pronounced dead, McDonald said.

The investigation revealed that girl, who has special needs, was attending an extended school year program at a local school in Franklin Township. She utilized a wheelchair and was transported by a transit school bus from her residence, McDonald said.

Upon entering the school bus, the child’s wheelchair was secured in the rear of the bus by Amanda Davila, 27 of New Brunswick who was assigned as the school bus monitor. During the transport, a series of bumps in the road caused her to slump in her wheelchair seat making the 4-point harness which secured her to the chair to become tight around her neck ultimately blocking her airway, McDonald said.

During the ride, the school bus monitor, Davila was seated towards the front of the bus and was allegedly utilizing a cellular telephone while wearing ear bud headphone devices in both ears. The investigation revealed that this was in violation of policies and procedures, McDonald said.

Davila was arrested on July 19 at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office without incident. She was charged with second-degree manslaughter, and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She was then lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing, McDonald said.

Anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at 732-873-5533 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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