Autistic Student Dies After Being Left On A Hot School Bus For Hours — And His Family Says THIS Could Have Saved His Life

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This is devastating.

On Friday, a special needs student was found dead inside a hot school bus after he was locked inside for hours.

The body of Paul Lee, who had severe autism, was found in the isle of a bus parked in the Whittier Union High School District lot in California.

The 19-year-old’s family said he boarded the bus that day like usual, but they don’t believe he ever got off.

Paul was nonverbal, and his regular bus driver — who would usually say the verbal cue “Let’s go, Paul” when they arrived at school — was not at work that day.

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Paul’s sister Eiden Lee believes the substitute driver did not double check to make sure every student was off the bus. She said:

“I’m guessing that the bus driver thought that everyone got off the bus. He didn’t look back to check. He wasn’t careful. And then the school didn’t even bother to call my mom to check if Paul was supposed to be absent. That little attention and care could have saved his life.”

The family is awaiting the autopsy report to confirm their belief that Paul was trapped inside the bus for almost ten hours while temperatures rose into the triple digits. Eiden explains how scared her brother must have been, saying:

“He sees the school in front of him, but the door is locked. Other people would have just honked [to attract attention]. But he didn’t know to do that.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to pay for Paul’s funeral, and hopes that this tragedy will result in stricter safety protocols within the school.

Our heart goes out to Paul’s family during this tragic time.

[Image via GoFundMe.]

Sep 16, 2015 12:47pm PDT

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