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Uncle Blames Bullying For Staten Island Teen's Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A 15-year-old Staten Island girl died Monday of injuries she suffered last week after being struck by a city bus.

A relative said the death of Amanda Diane Cummings was ultimately the result of bullying and that the teen had a suicide note on her when she was struck by the bus on Hylan Boulevard by Hunter Avenue around 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 27.

1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reports


The NYPD said a witness saw Cummings jump in front of the bus, according to a report in the Staten Island Advance.

The girl's uncle, Keith Cummings, said the teen was tormented by bullies at school and was dealing with romantic problems.

He said the teen was looking forward to the Christmas break and was fine over the holidays until an ugly break up with her boyfriend sent her over the edge. The day before she was struck, he said Amanda Cummings received an e-mail from her boyfriend, dumping her.

"It said, without so and so, who was this kid, there was no life at all. I don't want to live at all," Keith Cummings said.

Keith Cummings said bullies mocked his niece and took her phone, shoes and jacket.

"She had to be picked up from school because she was worried about being beat up," he told 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg.

At New Dorp High school, where Amanda Cummings was a sophomore, one friend agreed that she was targeted.

"People calling her names, stuff on Facebook about her, people really nasty to her for no reason," junior Marisa Ryan told CBS 2's Slattery.

The family said even as she lay dying in a hospital, text messages and Facebook postings, now erased, lashed out at her.

"The other comment, 'once a ho, always a ho,'" Keith Cummings said. "This is ridiculous. We lost an innocent life over kiddie bullying. Boys going out with younger girls ... that's not good."

While the family wants justice, police are looking into it, to see whether bullying was a key factor in the tragic death.

By one estimate, as many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they're afraid of bullies.

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