Essex County News

Six-Year-Old Discovered Sleeping Unattended on West Orange School Bus

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — When a bus driver employed by the Hunterdon County Educational Service Commission, which performs certain bus runs for the West Orange School District, failed to perform the mandatory inspection of his bus after dropping students off at Redwood Elementary School and returning to the bus depot on Friday morning, the district confirmed that a 6-year-old student had fallen asleep and was left on the bus unattended.

According to Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Rutzky, a district employee who was refueling the vehicle inspected the bus and discovered the sleeping student, who had been on the bus for approximately 40 minutes.

“Immediately upon discovering the student, the school district contacted the student's parents and the West Orange Police Department,” Rutzy said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “The West Orange Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office are presently investigating this matter. I have contacted the Hunterdon County Educational Service Commission and directed them that the driver be immediately terminated.”

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Should there be any further developments regarding the West Orange Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor' s Office's investigation, the public will be notified, he added. 

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