Special Needs Teen Found Dead On School Bus

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A 19-year-old special needs student was found dead on a school bus in Whittier, California, Friday.

Police are investigating whether the student may have been left on the bus all day because reports have surfaced that he never got off the bus for school, reports KTLA 5.

The teen got on the bus, operated by Pupil Transportation, Friday morning to attend Sierra Vista Adult School. When he did not return home by 4 p.m., his mother called the school to report him missing and they contacted the bus company.

The bus driver went to the bus, which was parked outside the Whittier Unified High School District, and found the teen lying in the aisle.

“The bus company, Pupil Transpiration (Cooperative), driver received a call from dispatch that a student was missing,” Whittier police Officer Brad White said. “He (returned) to his bus and that’s where he found this young man unresponsive.”

Several bus drivers were performing CPR on the teen when police arrived on the scene, Whittier Daily News reports. The officers took over but they were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at 4:33 p.m.

Officials do not know how the teen died and have labeled it a “suspicious death.”

"This tragedy has devastated all of us,” WUHSD Superintendent Sandy Thorstenson said in a written statement.

“We are still gathering information about what happened. The district is calling for a speedy and thorough investigation to determine how something like this could happen,” Thorstenson said. “Our hearts are with our student’s parents and family — we’re all grieving. We’re making ourselves, our counseling services and our staff available to his family and to our students and staff who were close to him.”

Sources: KTLA 5, Whittier Daily News / Photo Source: JohnPickenPhoto/Flickr