*When parents send their children to school, there is the expectation that they will return home at the end of the school day, safe and sound. But one family’s expectations were far from met when the body of their son was found on an empty school bus. According to Los Angeles County Coroner’s Lt. David Smith, last September, 19-year-old Hun Joon Lee – a special needs student – was found slumped over in the aisle of an empty school bus that had been driven by 37-year-old Armando Abel Ramirez. After efforts to save the teen’s life failed, he was pronounced dead.
Ramirez was booked on dependent abuse and remains in jail on $50,000 bail.
Lee had a pretty regular schedule. Around 2:30 each day he would ride the bus from school to his home in Whittier. It’s unclear if Ramirez was a regular driver for the teen; however he was the driver on the day Lee died.
According to what Brad White, a spokesman for the Whittier Police Department told the L. A. Times, Lee typically arrived home at 4pm. When he didn’t show up on the ironically dreadful date of Sept. 11, his mother called the school, which then called the bus company. A driver went out to the bus yard and found Lee slumped in the aisle of the parked bus, White said.
When police arrived at the Sierra Education Center they saw several bus drivers attempting life support on the teen. The police then took over, but their efforts failed and after 10 minutes, Lee was pronounced dead.
The teen attended a transitional program that served adults with special needs.
At this point, Hun Joon Lee’s death is being treated as “suspicious.”
According to White, “nothing that we’ve learned so far would lead us to believe he had any medical conditions.” He also adds they found no trauma to the boy’s body, and no weapons on the bus.
Ramirez is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.