Child with special needs dies after having medical issue on school bus in Bartow

BARTOW, Fla. — A 14-year-old child with special needs passed away on Tuesday after having a medical issue on the school bus.

Bartow Police say that around 7:15 a.m. on February 28, a bus driver contacted police about a medical issue on the bus. The district-operated school bus had pulled over in the 3500 block of East Highway 60 in Bartow to wait for medical assistance. When police arrived, the child was unresponsive.

The 14-year-old female student was transported to a local hospital and later transported to All Children's Hospital where she passed away on Tuesday, March 6. The child's name has not been released by authorities at this time.

According to the Polk County school district, the child was a student at Victory Ridge Academy in Lake Wales. Victory Ridge Academy is a charter school, according to the district. 

Detectives were advised by medical staff that the child had died due to a lack of oxygen related to a medical event. Police say that the deceased child had ongoing medical ailments preceding this event.

Bartow police detectives initiated a death investigation, due to the involvement of a child and likelihood of death, but found no evidence of foul play or criminal involvement.

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