Driver Arrested In Death Of Special Needs Student Left Aboard Whittier School Bus
The Whittier Police Department has made an arrest in the death of Hun Joon “Paul” Lee, a 19-year-old autistic student left aboard a school bus parked at the Pupil Transportation Cooperative depot on one of the hottest days last year. Whittier school bus driver Armando Able Ramirez, 37, was taken into custody at his Apple Valley residence on Wednesday afternoon and booked for felony dependent abuse at the Whittier Police Department.
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP represents the Lee family in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against both Pupil Transportation Cooperative and the Whittier Unified School District.
“We are pleased that the Whittier Police Department has taken the first step to hold bus driver Armando Ramirez accountable for his role in the death of Paul Lee,” said attorney Brian Panish. “We will continue to pursue justice for the Lee family and remain diligent in our fight to change bus safety policies and procedures in order to avoid a senseless tragedy like this from ever happening again.”
Pupil Transportation Cooperative (PTC) admitted in discovery that the conduct of its driver was a cause of Paul Lee’s death on September 11, 2015 and that the bus company is vicariously liable. The PTC also noted that the Whittier School District knew of the special needs student’s limitations and shared in the responsibility of his death.
Bail for Ramirez has been set at $50,000 and he is expected to be arraigned at Bellflower court of Friday, March 25.
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