A Broward County, Florida school bus driver is under investigation after allegations that he failed to help a student experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency.
As reported by WSVN 7News, 16-year-old Andrew Shepard is now doing well after suffering a diabetic seizure recently on board a school bus. Shepard was on the same bus as his sister, Jazmen Lucas, who noticed that her brother was not doing well. “He was on the bus in the back, and I turned around and saw him twitching,” recalled Lucas. Shepard suffers from diabetes and Addison’s disease which WSVN notes, “can cause very low blood pressure and lead to a coma.” After seeing her brother’s condition, Lucas appealed to the bus driver for help. "I said, 'Can you take me home like to my house because he's having a seizure?' and he was like, 'No, you got to get off the bus,'" Lucas recounted.
Instead of getting a ride to their home, a hospital, or just assistance in alerting emergency medical services, the bus driver dropped the siblings off at their normal stop and reportedly took off once they exited the bus.
Lucas was forced to carry her brother out of the bus and then attempt to make the walk home with Shepard as he collapsed. She said, “He fell on me and then he fell on a mailbox a couple houses down. So, I called my mom and I said that he’s having low blood sugar and she said, ‘Call 911.’” The children’s mother Cynthia was moved to tears thinking about her kids’ ordeal. "He looked my child in his face and told him to get off the bus. How do you do that?" said Cynthia. "I'm beyond furious."
Good Samaritans in the area helped the kids and eventually medical assistance arrived. Cynthia said, "The paramedics got there, his blood sugar was 30. A normal blood sugar is 80 to 120. He can die. He can go into a diabetic coma and die."
Cynthia feels that the bus driver should have pulled over with the children and called for help. "He's a coward. He let my son get off this bus and left my son pretty much to die. If my daughter was not there, my son wouldn't be here today," the mother said. "All he had to do was call 911. No one asked you to help him, put your hands on him or anything, just call 911, and you didn't."
The Broward County School Board released this statement to WSVN:
“An investigation was immediately initiated by the district and remains on going, at this time. District staff will continue to work with the family and provide updates accordingly.”
The school board says that all county school buses are equipped with surveillance cameras so they will be using that footage in their investigation.
Shepard spent two days at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and was treated in the intensive care unit. Fortunately, he is now doing fine with an increase in his medication and he has returned to school. The bus driver is currently taking previously scheduled time off.
Earlier this week, another school bus driver’s actions were called into question when he was caught on camera allegedly bullying a special needs student and encouraging other students to join in and torment the student.
Video and more info: WSVN