Boy opens exit door on moving school bus, falls out

MELROSE (WABC) -- A 12-year-old boy opened the exit door of a moving bus in the Bronx and is now critically injured.

It happened on East 156th Street near Courtlandt Avenue in the Melrose section on Friday.

Now his family is looking for answers.

"I don't understand how he got the bus door open in the back because that's supposed to be locked 24/7, the emergency exit," Maliek Pediford, A.J.'s father said.

A father in distress and demanding answers after an incident that has left his active 12-year-old son Ajene or A.J. hospitalized and in a coma.

On Friday evening, the special needs 7th grader boarded a bus at the New York City Children's Center heading to a foster home in the Bronx.

But during the ride, A.J. reportedly opened the back emergency exit and fell or jumped from the moving vehicle.

Newscopter 7 was over the scene and the bus in the Melrose section shortly after the badly injured boy was rushed to Jacobi Hospital.

"They say he broke a bone in the back of his head that holds the skull up. So it's like close to his neck. He can walk but he's going to have a hard time learning how to talk," Pediford said.

Pediford says he just wants to know how this happened. Why a matron reportedly on the bus at the time wasn't able to prevent it.

Eyewitness News asked the Department of Education some of the same questions, but so far no response.

For now, Mr. Pediford says he just wants his son back happy and healthy again, and not in a hospital bed hooked up to machines.

"It's hard for me to go up there and see him and like every time I go up there I start crying uncontrollably," Pediford said.
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