Local News

Questions Arise In Death Of Pinehurst Elementary Student

Posted August 27, 2002

— A young Moore County boy was buried Tuesday. He died Friday after suffering what his family believe was a seizure on a school bus, but there are questions about why the bus driver took the child home instead of using a cell phone to call 911.

Family members say Raheem Simmons, who was in a special needs class and confined to a wheelchair, often had seizures. They said Simmons had a seizure on his way home from Pinehurst Elementary School Friday. Simmons' sister said he was not breathing when they took him off of the bus. He died later that night at the hospital.

Moore County school bus drivers have cell phones with them to use in case of an emergency. The school system and sheriff's office are investigating the incident, but they said they will not comment on specifics about the case. An autopsy report from the state medical examiner on Simmons' death is expected in the next couple of days.

"Naturally, you would like to know actually what happened. There are some questions that I'm sure they will be answered," pastor Paschel McNiar said.

Principal Herb Cameron said he has fond memories of Simmons' last day of school.

"It was wonderful. He was so involved and so happy, drawing, coloring -- doing activities that he always didn't participate in that much, but he did on Friday so we are very happy to have that kind of memory of him," he said.

Simmons was supposed to celebrate his 8th birthday on Thursday.


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