🔵 Bumps in the road caused a girl in a wheelchair to be choked by a safety harness on a school bus

🔵 The bus monitor had earbuds in while she used her phone

🔵 The 6-year-old was unresponsive when the bus arrived at school

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (Somerset) — A school bus aide has been charged with manslaughter after a 6-year-old girl was fatally strangled by a safety harness that tightened around her neck.

Officials say the monitor was on her phone instead of paying attention.

The girl was in a wheelchair riding to a summer program at the Claremont Elementary School in the Franklin Park section of Franklin Township Monday morning when the van she was riding inside hit several bumps in the roadway, according to Somerset County Prosecutor John McDonald.

The impacts caused the girl to slump in her chair and the 4-point harness, which secured her to the chair, tightened around her neck and blocked her airway.

The girl was unresponsive when she arrived at the school and police administered CPR before she was bought to a hospital. She was later pronounced dead in the intensive care unit.

The girl was identified by her mother in a report on  RLS Metro Breaking News as Fajr Atiya Williams. Fajr had a rare chromosome disorder called Emmanuel syndrome, which affected her ability to speak.

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

Williams had been secured in the rear of the van by Amanda Davila, 27, of New Brunswick, at the start of the trip, according to McDonald.

Davila then sat in the front of the bus and put earbuds in her ears while using her phone, a violation of the policies and procedures of Montauk Transit Services, the company that operates the bus.

Davila was employed by Montauk.

Davila was also charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She is being held in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

The investigation is on-going as investigators await the findings from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

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