Non-Verbal, Special Needs NJ Girl, 6, Suffocated to Death While Bus Monitor was Allegedly on Her Phone

Fajr Williams and Amanda Davila
Fajr Williams and Amanda Davila Twitter

The mother of a 6-year-old New Jersey girl who died on a school bus last month is speaking out and says the tragedy could have been prevented.

On July 17, Fajr Atiya Williams was in her wheelchair on the bus when bumps on Franklin Township's roads moved her body and led her to slump, causing a harness to tighten around her neck and block her breathing.

After being found unresponsive, staff called 911 and officers attempted CPR. The girl was rushed to a local hospital and pronounced dead, according to NBC New York.

Subsequent investigation determined that Williams, who was nonverbal, "struggled violently for her life" and in at least two instances "made a shriek or gasp and at one point kicked the window of the bus," according to court records obtained by

Despite these frantic efforts, no one noticed. Authorities have charged bus monitor Amanda Davila with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child in connection with Williams' death. Davila was allegedly using her phone and wearing headphones at the time of the incident, according to

Williams' mother, Najmah Nash, said her daughter should still be alive. "This was purely due to neglect and policies and procedures being disregarded," Nash said in an interview. Williams had Emanuel syndrome, a genetic developmental disorder that disrupts a person's development.

Nash is now working with other parents to advocate for students with disabilities and to ensure their safety. "I want the world to know that I, Najmah Nash, will not back down. I will not stop fighting for change," Nash said. "And I will assure you with every fiber of my being to make sure that change comes and it comes now, and swiftly because I don't want no other family to feel the way I feel right now."

The grieving mother said she wants her daughter to be remembered for the light she brought the world. "She started giving out high fives and waving at other classmates in school," Nash added. "It was just a beautiful sight to see how much she's grown over the years.

"She was just a vibrant kid, she was so happy. Her eyes were big and brown. And she would just draw you in just looking at her. Although she was nonverbal, I believe she talked through her eyes."