🔴 Bus monitor Amanda Davila was engrossed in her phone for 14 minutes

🔴 Non-verbal Fajr Atiya Williams violently struggled as a harness tightened around her neck

🔴 Williams was unconscious when her bus arrived at school

FRANKLIN (Somerset) — A 6-year-old girl struggled mightily in her wheelchair as a bumpy road caused her wheelchair restraints to tighten around her neck, court documents show.

Bus monitor Amanda Davila, 27, of New Brunswick, was looking at her phone with her earbuds on for 14 minutes after improperly securing Fajr Atiya Williams at the back of the bus on July 17, according to the criminal complaint and affidavit obtained in the case by NJ.com.

The lap belt and ankle restraints of the four-point harness were not put in place by Davila, which contributed to the harness tightening around her neck, according to the complaint.

Williams was riding to a summer program at the Claremont Elementary School in the Franklin Park section of Franklin Township

Cameras on the bus show that Willilams, who is non-verbal, “struggled violently for her life flailing her arms and legs,” making a shriek or gasp and kicking the window. She was unconscious by the time the bus arrived at school, according to the complaint.

When Davila began to prepare the girl to exit the bus she noticed something was not right and called for help from a teacher. Two minutes later the teacher said she wasn't sure if Williams was breathing and called for additional assistance. A staff member began administering COR and an ambulance was called.

Amanda Davila
Amanda Davila (Somerset County Prosecutor's Office)

Family asks for financial help

Williams remained hospitalized for two days before she was pronounced dead.

A GoFundMe page was created by Williams' mother, Najmah Nash, to cover funeral and medical expenses.

"My family and I are truly devastated by this and would appreciate anyone that can help," Nash wrote.

Davila was charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

A judge released Davila pending a hearing in August. Under bail reform the state must proves she is a flight risk. A judge ruled that she is not a flight risk and has never been in trouble with the law. As part of her release she may not have contact with school age children or the 6-year-old girl’s parents.

Her lawyer Michael Policastro said she is “remorseful” for what happened, grew up in New Brunswick and has a 2-year-old special needs son. She has worked for the transportation company for nine years.

Davila has also lost her job with Montauk Transit Services for violating the company policy and procedures.

“We at Montauk Transit are all devastated by the loss of Faja. We all extend our deepest condolences to the family and are grieving as a company. All of our employees know that the safety of children we transport is our top priority, which is why we are fully engaged in the law enforcement investigation and support any punishment that the justice system determines appropriate for the bus monitor who has been arrested," the company said in a statement.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this report should have said the incident on the bus happened on July 17.

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