FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (TCD) -- A 27-year-old bus monitor faces charges after a 6-year-old girl with special needs suffocated to death during a ride to school while the suspect was reportedly on her phone with ear buds in.
According to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, on Monday, July 17, shortly after 9 a.m., Franklin Township Police officers responded to a local school to a report of an unresponsive child. Officers performed CPR on the 6-year-old victim before transporting her to a local hospital's intensive care unit, where she was pronounced dead.
Upon further investigation, the Prosecutor's Office said the wheelchair-bound victim rode the bus to attend a local extended school year program on the day of her death. The bus monitor, Amanda Davila, reportedly secured the girl's wheelchair in the back of the vehicle.
According to the Prosecutor's Office, the bus encountered road bumps during transit, causing the victim to "slump," and her wheelchair's four-point harness became "tight around her neck, ultimately blocking her airway."
During the incident, Davila was allegedly toward the front of the bus on her phone wearing ear buds, which is in "violation of policies and procedures."
On Wednesday, July 19, officials arrested Davila and booked her into the Somserset County Jail. The Prosecutor's Office charged her with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.