Family of Franklin Township child who suffocated on school bus seek to prevent it from happening again

Najmah Nash and Wali Williams say they were devasted when their daughter Fajr Williams died three weeks ago.

Matt Trapani and Eliecer Marte

Aug 9, 2023, 2:27 AM

Updated 309 days ago


The parents of a 6-year-old girl who suffocated on her school bus are working to make sure something like this never happens again.
Najmah Nash and Wali Williams say they were devastated when their daughter Fajr Williams died three weeks ago. The child was suffocated by a four-point harness that was securing her wheelchair to the bus transporting her to a school-extended program in Franklin Township.
The bus monitor is now facing manslaughter charges because authorities say she was using her phone and wearing earbuds while the girl was suffocating.
“Me going through it, I believe is enough,’ says Nash. I don’t want any other family to go through this type of heartache.”
The parents are petitioning lawmakers to pass Fajr’s Law – a law divided into three parts: justice, safety of transportation and equality. They want bus contractors to be required to provide a live video feed to district boards of education from inside their buses while transporting students.
Nash says the law “entitles the Board of Education to be more transparent in the way that they are vetting these transportation companies for their contracts. And if the contracts aren’t adhered to, there are repercussions.”
The family is proposing that the Franklin Township Board of Education requires that all bus drivers and aides are trained in CPR and how to handle any adaptive equipment a child may have, whether it is a child with special needs or not. There is also a requirement for training to recognize all signs of distress and to have an emergency plan in place for emergencies.
The family would also like to see bus company Montauk LLC cease business.
“What justice looks like to me is one of the things being Montauk Transit ceases operation,” says Nash.
Bus monitor Amanda Davila worked for Montauk for seven years. In addition to manslaughter charges, Davila is also charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She is expected back in court on Aug. 28.
The parents say that they also believe the bus driver should be held accountable for the death of their daughter.
“Day by day we just fight and focus on justice for Fajr and that is what keeps us going,” Nash says.
A petition created by the family has over 1,200 signatures.

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