July 23, 2019
A year to the day after a three-year-old boy died after being left in a daycare bus that sweltered in the summer heat, a grand jury indicted a former bus driver for the death.
Maurice Mitchell, 62, was arrested early Tuesday by Houston Police after being indicted Friday for injury to a child by recklessly causing serious bodily injury or death, a second-degree felony.
Raymond “R.J.” Pryer Jr. died July 19, 2018 after being left in a bus for several hours following a field trip to Doss Park.
The indictment contends that Mitchell disengaged a passenger safety alarm, which was to safeguard young passengers from being left behind, without first performing a visual inspection of the bus to ensure no children were still onboard.
“As the summer heat intensifies, we should honor R.J.’s memory by ensuring no more children are left in hot vehicles,” Assistant District Attorney Michele Oncken said. “Remember that the Texas can be deadly.”
The case is being prosecuted by the Child Fatality Unit of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and was investigated by Houston Police Dept.’s Crimes Against Children Unit.
A memorial bench at Doss Park, which is dedicated to RJ, was unveiled on Saturday.