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Death of 6-Year-Old in Fall From Bus Still Being Investigated

Police and school officials are reportedly still investigating the death of a 6-year-old boy who fell from a school bus last week. The incident occurred on Wednesday when the boy fell out the back emergency exit of a school bus and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Two days later, he was declared legally dead and was taken off life support.

This tragic incident is raising a number of questions about how the boy was cared for by the private bus company that transported him, as well as questions about the responsibility of the bus driver and the two adult aides that were apparently onboard the bus when the accident occurred.

The 6-year-old was a special needs student that was required to ride in a harness, but according to reports, the boy was involved in some sort of altercation and allowed to get out of his seat on the day of the accident. An aide allegedly broke up the altercation and the boy then attempted to get off the bus through the front exit. When he was stopped, he allegedly ran to the back of the bus, opened the emergency exit door, and then fell out of the moving bus.

The bus company subsequently fired the bus driver and the two aides that had been on the bus. It is unclear at this time if the bus driver or the aides were following proper procedures at the time of the accident.

It is still early in the investigation, but based on the information that has been reported so far, it appears the bus company and its employees may have had a duty to ensure the safety of the children on the bus that they either neglected or failed to act upon. A full investigation will reveal more details, but it is possible that an incident such as this could result in a wrongful death case being brought by the boy's family.

Source: Baltimore Sun, 6-Year-Old Dies After Fall From Bus, Erica L. Green, 12/11/10

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