Ruled an accident: Medical Examiner says child struck by bus was autistic

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office has released its report on an incident in which a six-year-old child was struck and killed by a school bus on Wednesday afternoon, May 21st.

According to the Medical Examiner's Office, the six-year-old child was "severely autistic." He was a student at Longfellow School.

The Medical Examiner's report says the child ran from his home, unbeknownst to his adult caregivers, entered a crosswalk against a red light, and was struck by the school bus.

It happened near South Cesar Chavez and West Mineral Street -- just before 4:00 p.m.

The Medical Examiner's report identifies the child as Raul Espinosa. The boy's mother tells FOX6 News he was the youngest of four children. His mother says he was a joyful boy, who loved people.

The report indicates the child ran out of his home while his mother was in the shower. 

He apparently ran east from his home to the corner of Cesar Chavez and Mineral -- and ran out into the crosswalk going east. He was then struck by the bus that had been stopped on South Cesar Chavez at a red light.

The report indicates the bus driver had been traveling southbound.

The light apparently turned green just as the child walked into the intersection -- and the bus driver did not see the child -- according to the report.

The report says the driver of a van that was headed northbound on Cesar Chavez began honking his horn to warn the bus driver.

The report says the bus traveled 140 feet past the intersection -- and then stopped, because of horns honking and people signaling the driver to stop. The report says the driver was otherwise unaware she had struck the child.

The Medical Examiner's report says the cause of death is multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of death has been ruled an accident.

The 24-year-old woman who was driving the school bus is cooperating with the investigation.

Police said on Thursday, May 22nd, there were two children on the bus at the time of this incident.

They were not injured.

Milwaukee police said on Thursday, May 22nd their investigation into this incident is ongoing.

Police says as with all fatal crashes, the investigation will be reviewed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office once complete.

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  • Maria Rodriguez

    I just feel really sorry for the child and his parents and family members. May he rest in peace. And I would just make a suggestion to police and the people who are in charge of hiring this school bus drivers, to be more careful when choosing them. This school bus drivers, drive so fast and are so disrespectful towards pedestrians and other drivers on the road. I have seen plenty of school bus drivers texting, talking on the phone, smoking, and driving like if they were the only ones on the road. This has to stop!!! I strongly believe something should be done, everybody needs to be more careful when driving, but especially this school bus drivers.

    • Amy

      You can NOT blame the bus driver. It was the irresponsiblility of the mother and family that was not supervising that boy. As a mother of an autisic son I know how it is to constantly watch my child. Yes this is horrible accident BUT the blame has to go on the “large” family for letting that child wonder away.

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  • Debbie Lou

    Maria are you serious? The bus driver had the green light..the boy darted into traffic..that little boy “escaped” from his house, unknown to the mother, he was autistic, all the more reason to keep a watchful eye on a child with a disability, a few weeks back, he was found wandering on 12th & mineral…his mother should have been more careful monitoring this boy..she failed to do so

    • Maria Rodriguez

      Hi Debbie. I am not trying to blame it only on the bus driver. Of course we as parents are the first ones to be held responsible for our children. Let’s not judge the mother so fast…This type of things can happen to anybody…But I also believe that we as drivers should also drive responsibly…We should be considerate of other drivers and pedestrians..We all know that even if we have the green light there are people that still try to cross the street. We should ALWAYS keep an eye out for pedestrians… I had to ride the school bus for 2 years when I went to middle school and it was a total nightmare for me. The bus drivers drove extremely fast, they were smoking on the school bus, talking on the phone, playing loud music, and even gave rides to their buddies. I believe that this keeps on happening, because I have been driving on the streets of Milwaukee and this school bus drivers will try to almost crush you if you let them. Let’s all learn from this and be more considerate and drive safely…Always look out for pedestrians and even distracted drivers that try to run a red light… Please!!

      • Janie G

        Actually now that i see the mother pic and childs pic.. this was the same child that last year we found wandering alone on 7th st. with a diaper and a bottle of coke.. we stopped him he had walked about 3 blocks from his home. we called the cops and it took 15 minutes after we called the cops for the mother to show up. begging us to let us give her the child.. that this happened before . we said no she needed to wait for the police.. sad .. yes the child is autistic and mom should have been more cautious due to his special needs. again this wasn’t the first time he left home. sad

  • WCI

    The mother says she can’t forgive the bus driver? This wasn’t the first time he was found wondering the street by himself, my question is where were you at? This is a sad and tragic accident, parents should always know where there kids are, specially if the boy is autistic.

    • Debbie Lou

      seriously..she blames the bus driver??? she should take a good look into a mirror…thats where the blame is..neighbors say that the child wandered constantly around the neighboorhood…

      • Amanda


  • Edna

    I feel very very bad for The family Of this little Child :(
    I have a autistic child also. I’m really mad with the school and school bus service !!!! Here in Milwaukee people just don’t respect kids or school buses !!! In Walworth county at every single stop the bus put the emergency lights and wait until kids cross the street !!!! Cars behind wait until the bus dont have the emergency lights and start moving !!! If any car tries to pass the bus while kids are getting of the bus those drivers are FINED !!!!! Also when a kid have any special needs an adult is supposed to be there to put them on the bus and pick them up !!!! Bus drivers CAN NOT leave a child get off the bus if an adult is not there !!!!!

  • karen

    Yes buses sometimes drive fast, but in the shower while her son is running the streets… I feel bad for the child because he had no idea that was his last moments on earth because someone failed to supervise this child… He has a history on running around the neighborhood… My son is autistic we had to install locks on doors and windows to keep him from running… The bus driver has to live with this for the rest of her life and that’s said, all because someone failed to watch a special needs child with a history of running… R.I.P. Raul…

  • Amy

    Where was the supervision?? With an autisic child they must have constant supervision. He was allowed to leave the poperty unsupervised. My heart breaks for this family. But if it HAD NOT BEEN for the lack of supervision- this accident would have been prevented. To blame the bus driver- do you really think she did this on purpose? To not forgive her?? It was not her fault that YOU were not watching your autisic child.

  • tere

    I really think the mom didn’t really care for that lil angel, because that Saturday the boy was also on the streets walking by him self all alone .my brother took that lil boy and walked him several blocks to different houses asking if he belong there and they all say no, then a van passed and they said they wore looking for that boy that he had in his hands .. my brother talked to his mom and yes she said he had autism . But if she knew he was whit that special need she should of held him closer. I really think that mom should be investigated its not fair that the lil angel lost his life . And all because of an irresponsible mother

    • karen

      Totally agree she needs to be charged with child neglect, He was wandering around different neighborhoods by himself…. He was an innocent child, She failed him on her own… 3 lives are forever changed because of her neglect..

  • Nicole

    It is very sad that Raul had to leave us the way he did. My heart goes out to the family friends n everybody that loved him. I seen that people blaming the driver when looking at the Video the bus took off but not fast. Don’t nobody care about you seeing Bus DRivers txting talking on phone back in the day or even now, U should have di d something about it then by calling to report it!!!
    This driver was not on a phone nor was she txting. So talk about the Mom not watching her baby like she suppose to knowing he have a history running out the house n walking the Streets.
    God forgive me because I to had Blamed the Parent.

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