Special Needs Student Found Dead on School Bus, Driver Arrested

Special needs student found dead on bus
Hun Joon Lee shown here with his mother, who supplied the photo.

*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.

4 thoughts on “Special Needs Student Found Dead on School Bus, Driver Arrested”

  1. Thanks for this story! I don’t see the connection between the driver and the dead teen. There are no signs of trauma etc…any information on what the police believe the driver did?

  2. Thanks for sharing this post. Here the history about Hun Joon Lee 19-year-old. Every parent 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 here not do like that. it’s really a shocked news for parents.
    There is no information where police can trust the driver.
    Thanks Again.

  3. @MPC and Zubaear… Thanks for weighing in. From what I can tell, the police is checking any lead. And here, since the driver is all they have to go on, they are starting with him; and questioning why he apparently did not notice that the student was still on the the vacated bus.

    Also, from the information gathered thus far, where the bus drivers were attempting to save the student’s life when the police showed up — and them subsequently working on him for ten minutes before pronouncing him dead, the student was presumably still alive when the bus driver emptied the bus…So why was it allegedly not noticeable that the bus still had one student left behind? Obviously, there are more questions than answers here.

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