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Family of autistic student who died on bus sues Riverside’s Bright Futures Academy

By in Press Enterprise on November 1, 2017

By Beau Yarbrough

The family of Anthony Corona, an autistic student who died in 2016 after an altercation on a school bus has sued Bright Futures Academy in Riverside, a school serving special needs students.

The suit was filed Monday in San Bernardino Superior Court by La Mirada attorney Dale Nowicki.

“The individual employees’ acts and omissions during their actions against Anthony on Dec. 9, 2016 were a product of reckless, malicious and callous indifference by the Academy, its defendant officers and owners, Academy supervisory personnel and academy training personnel,” the suit reads. “The actions and omissions by defendants, and each of them caused Anthony to lose his life and plaintiff Monica Munoz to lose her son.”

The San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office has concluded the death was a homicide, which means “death at the hands of another, but not necessarily implying intent or culpability,” according to a coroner’s report previously provided by Nowicki.

Bright Futures declined to comment on details of the suit.

“We certainly sympathize with the anguish and loss that Anthony’s family continues to feel over his death, which was ruled accidental” Bright Futures President Betti Colucci said in a news release Tuesday. “We miss him as well, and hope and pray his loved ones eventually will find some peace. Otherwise, we will have no comment on the lawsuit.”

Corona, 18, of San Bernardino, was autistic, mentally impaired and verbally non-communicative. His individualized education plan (IEP) required that a Bright Futures one-on-one aide accompany him at all times.

At the time of the incident, he was near the end of his two-hour bus ride home, strapped, buckled and seat belted into a restraint harness on the rear-most seat on the bus, according to the lawsuit.

“The bus had just dropped off one student and was northbound on the 215 Freeway between Mill Street and 5th Street,” according […]    

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