Depositions reveal shocking details in teen's hot school bus death as drivers allegedly had sex

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Video deposition released exclusively to Eyewitness News revealed new details in the death of 19-year-old Paul Lee, a special needs student left on a hot bus to die in Whittier. (KABC)

Shocking revelations about the death of a Whittier teenager with special needs who was left on a hot school bus to die were revealed in a video deposition released exclusively to Eyewitness News.

The attorney for 19-year-old Paul Lee's family released the video deposition of Armando Ramirez, the bus driver who left the student in a hot bus to die on Sept. 11, 2015 while he went to have sex with a woman.

"And you admit that you were negligent and caused the death of Paul Lee?" attorney Brian Panish asked.

"Yes, I recognize that," Ramirez answered.

"Isn't true when you found Paul Lee, he was laying on his stomach with vomit all around him?" Panish asked.

"That's true," Ramirez answered.

MORE: Driver gives emotional apology to family of teen with autism who died on hot Whittier bus

The deposition also detailed more about Ramirez, who was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of dependent adult abuse, rushing off to meet his co-worker for sex.

In her deposition, Annette Guerena admitted to the infatuation between them.

"Was it the sex?" Panish asked.

"Yes," Guerena answered.

"Because he had a one track mind," Panish continued. "Both of you just wanted to go run over to his house and have sex right?"

"On that day, yes," Guerena replied.

"That day, when he left Mr. Lee on the bus, all you and him were thinking about was getting to his house as fast as you could, having as much sex as you could and then for him to get back to work, correct?" Panish asked.

"Yes," she responded.

The deposition also revealed that Pupil Transportation Cooperative employees admitted other students had been left on the bus in the past.

MORE: Bus company admits partial liability in death of autistic Whittier student, documents say

"Are you aware of any other times in which a PTC bus driver left a student on a bus?" Panish asked.

"Yes," PTC employee Charlotte Rosas answered.

"On how many occasions?" Panish questioned.

"Two that I'm aware of," Rosas said.

Panish said it was learned three months before Lee's death, 21-year-old Rayleen Good Carbajal, also a student transported by PTC, was driven to the wrong address by Ramirez three days in a row.

Her mother, Regina Carbajal, complained to a company dispatcher about the mistakes.

"I'm angry because I feel like it all could have been avoided," Carbajal said.

Panish blamed PTC for failing to step in and address the issues.

"They had inadequate policies. They didn't take any steps to prevent this," Panish said.

"Once there were calls, but there was no investigation into this as to why he would've dropped another kid off three times at the wrong address," he continued. "It was just a matter of time, kind of like Russian roulette, until this poor victim, Paul Lee, was left to die in the heat on the bus."

Paul Lee, a 19-year-old special needs student, seen left on a GoFundMe page set up by family, was found dead in a school bus in Whittier on Sept. 11, 2015.


Eyewitness News reached out to PTC for comment on Wednesday but had not yet heard back. When Eyewitness News reached out to PTC last week, their attorney said they would not be commenting until the litigation was resolved.

Lee's death resulted in new state legislation that requires an alarm system for every school bus in California, requiring the driver to walk to the back and press a button before exiting the vehicle.
Related Topics:
newsbusbus driverstudent safetyschool safetyspecial needs childrendisabilitylawsuitu.s. & worldCalifornia
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