A 19-year-old student with severe autism in Whittier, Calif., died after being left alone on a school bus on a hot summer afternoon.
NBC4 Los Angeles reports that Hun-Joon Lee was found lying in the aisle on a bus in a school district parking lot, and emergency personnel were unable to revive him.
The search for the student began after his mother notified officials that he never made it home from school. Firefighters received a call Friday afternoon of a person not breathing in a Whittier school district parking lot. The lot is west of Sierra Vista High School and the Whittier Adult School, where the man was a student. Family members say that Lee, who could not speak, but responded to instructions, may have stayed on the bus waiting for a cue about what he should do.
Authorities say an investigation of the death is ongoing.
Pupil Transportation Cooperative, a private bus company that contracts with the school district, issued a statement of sympathy about the man's death. It was not clear if bus drivers for the company are required to do head counts of their passengers.
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