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UPDATE: Woman Charged with Death of Child on Franklin Township School Bus

Franklin Township (Somerset)

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By: Richard L. Smith 

Somerset County officials reported the arrest of Ms. Amanda Davila, 27, of New Brunswick, in relation to circumstances surrounding a school bus ride in Franklin Township on Monday, July 17, 2023, which led to a child’s death.

Prosecutor McDonald stated that on Monday, July 17, 2023, at approximately 9:04 a.m., Franklin Township Police Department responded to a local school for a call for an unresponsive juvenile.  

Upon responding to the location, officers administered CPR to 6-year-old child Fajr Williams. 

 The child was transported to an area hospital’s intensive care unit and was subsequently pronounced deceased.  

Death Investigation

Detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department and detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to investigate. 

The investigation revealed that the juvenile, a 6-year-old female with special needs, was attending an extended school year program at a local school in Franklin Township.

 The 6-year-old utilized a wheelchair and was transported by a transit school bus from her residence on the morning of July 17, 2023.

Upon entering the school bus, the child’s wheelchair was secured in the rear of the bus by Amanda Davila, who was assigned as the school bus monitor. 

During the transport, a series of bumps in the road caused the 6-year-old to slump in her wheelchair seat, making the 4-point harness that secured her to the chair tight around her neck, ultimately blocking her airway. 

During the ride, the school bus monitor, Amanda Davila, was seated towards the front of the bus and was utilizing a cellular telephone while wearing earbud headphone devices in both ears.  

The investigation revealed that this violated policies and procedures.   

On July 19, 2023, because of this investigation, Defendant Davila was placed under arrest at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office without incident.

Defendant Davila was charged with 2nd-degree, Manslaughter, and 2nd-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  

Defendant Davila was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor McDonald, Chief Roman, and Franklin Township Public Safety Director Maeweather request anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533