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Paterson Girl in School Bus Incident Has Died

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PATERSON, NJ – The 14-year-old Paterson girl who stepped out the rear emergency door of a moving school bus last week died over the weekend, officials said.

Onyx Williams, who lived on N. 5th Street, was taking the bus home from the special needs school she attended in Hackensack when the incident happened in Rutherford on January 2, according to authorities. Rutherford police have determined that there was no criminal wrongdoing in the incident.

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Williams, who suffered severe head trauma, had been on life support at Hackensack Regional Medical Center for several days.

“It’s a tragic situation that could have been prevented,’’ said City Council President Anthony Davis, who represents the 1st Ward, where the girl had lived. “I just want to send comfort to the family.’’

Paterson Public Schools on Friday had terminated its contract with the Wallington-based company that owned the bus, K&M Transportation, saying the firm violated the terms of the agreement.

Davis said there were supposed to be two aides on the bus. But police have said only the driver and one aide were aboard at the time of the incident. School officials have declined to discuss why they terminated the contract, saying the situation remains under investigation.

“Even though we cannot bring back the life, I’m glad the district got rid of this company,’’ said Davis.

K&M Transportation did not return a phone message seeking the company’s comment on the situation.

Meanwhile, Paterson Public Schools used three other companies on Monday to transport about 40 students who had been bused by K&M. The companies - School Transportation Services, A1-Elegant, and John Leckie – handled the nine routes that had been covered by the district’s contract with K&M Transportation, said spokeswoman Terry Corallo.

K&M had a $260,700 contract covering the transportation of 40 special needs students on nine routes.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which oversees school bus safety in the state, is conducting an investigation of the vehicle involved in the incident. 

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