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Bus Monitor Was Wearing Headphones As 6-Year-Old Special Needs Student Was Strangled By Own Seatbelt


FRANKLIN TWP., N.J. (SCPO / Press Release) – Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald announced the arrest of Amanda Davila, age 27 of New Brunswick, New Jersey in relation to circumstances surrounding a school bus ride in Franklin Township on Monday, July 17, 2023, which led to a child’s death.

Amanda Davila

Prosecutor McDonald stated that on Monday, July 17, 2023, at approximately 9:04 a.m., Franklin Township Police Department 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 child. The child was transported to an area hospital’s intensive care unit and was subsequently pronounced deceased. Detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to investigate.

The investigation revealed that the juvenile, a 6-year-old female with special needs, was attending an extended school year program at a local school in Franklin Township. The 6-year-old utilized a wheelchair and was transported by a transit school bus from her residence on the morning of July 17, 2023. Upon entering the school bus, the child’s wheelchair was secured in the rear of the bus by Amanda Davila, who was assigned as the school bus monitor. During the transport, a series of bumps in the road caused the 6-year-old 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. During the ride, the school bus monitor, Amanda Davila was seated towards the front of the bus and was 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.


On July 19, 2023, because of this investigation, Defendant Davila was placed under arrest at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office without incident. Defendant Davila was charged with 2nd degree, Manslaughter, and 2nd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Defendant Davila was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

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