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FIRST ON 3: Toxicology report sheds little light on death of child on school bus

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A toxicology report shows little new info about the death of a special needs girl on a New Hanover County school bus earlier this year. Eight-year-old Jamiah Batts died shortly after arriving by bus at Rachel Freeman School of Engineering February 29.

A toxicology report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shows Batts had Atropine and Levetiracetam in her system at the time of her death. Atropine is a drug given to increase heart rate. Levetiracetam is an anticonvulsant often used to treat epilepsy.

Batts suffered from Cerebral Palsy and was confined to a wheelchair. There have been questions about whether she was properly restrained in her chair when she got on the bus from a group home where she lives.

The state fined the group home last month. In its report on the facility’s deficiencies, the state cited an eight-year-old girl with CP who died February 29. According to an interview with a staff member, the lap belt on the girl’s wheelchair was so tight that she would vomit every evening after school and had bruises on her hips.

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