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Coroner Identifies Special Needs Teen Found Dead On School Bus In Whittier

WHITTIER ( — Authorities on Saturday identified the young man who was found dead in a parked school bus in Whittier on Friday.

Authorities identified the victim as Hun-Joon Lee, a 19-year-old student with special needs who studied at the Sierra Education Center.

His body was discovered by a bus driver around 4:20 p.m., reports KCAL9's Erica Nochlin. The driver who discovered the body attempted to give the teen CPR but to no avail.

The school district won't say if the student showed up for class Friday but Nochlin reported that he never arrived home.

The bus -- owned and operated by a company called Pupil Transportation -- was located in the parking lot of Whittier Union High School District (the 9400 block of Greenleaf Avenue.)

The teen -- who attended Sierra Educational Center's Transition Program -- was declared dead at the scene. The boy's parents have been notified.

Whittier police said they are checking all possibilities but said it appears to be an accident.

"It's a very tragic accident," said Brad White of the Whittier Police Department," for all involved, especially the family."

Police said when the teen failed to return home at 4 p.m. -- as he was supposed to -- his mother notified the school, who, in turn notified the bus dispatch.

Drivers told Nochlin the 36-year-old driver involved is distraught and that it was purely an accident. Police detained the driver for questioning but later released him. (They wouldn't comment on whether negligence charges could be filed later.)

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