A 12-year-old special-needs student was critically injured after he opened his school bus’ emergency exit door and fell out while the vehicle was still moving on Friday, in an incident his family says could have easily been avoided.
Ajene Pediford managed to open the bus door as it was traveling on E. 156th St. near Courtlandt Ave. in Melrose, the Bronx, his grandmother Nyahali Pediford said.
“This child is 12 years old and he’s at Jacobi Hospital in a coma,” said the grandmother, a peace officer with the Department of Education.
The vehicle was traveling from the boy’s school, Brooklyn Children’s Psychiatric Center, to a Bronx-based foster family he was placed with through Catholic Guardian Services, Pediford explained.
A woman who identified herself as Ajene’s foster mom confirmed the incident.
“He’s in the hospital,” she said. “He jumped out of the school bus.”
But this should come as no surprise to officials, Nyahali Pediford argued, saying her grandson has a history of acting out, especially on buses.
“I plead with them to get him a one-on-one para(professional) to be with him on the bus,” Pediford said. “And they never did it.”
To add insult to injury, it took Catholic Guardian Services an entire day to inform the family of the incident, Pediford and Ajene’s father told the Daily News.
Calls made by The News to Brooklyn Children’s Psychiatric Center, Catholic Guardian Services and the Department of Education were not immediately returned.