The school bus driver beaten into a coma by another motorist earlier this month has died, NBC 4 New York has learned.
Juan DelValle's devastated family, who had stood watch by his bedside since the assault, made the decision to take him off life support Friday evening, a hospital spokesperson told NBC 4 New York.
He died at 6:19 p.m., his sister said.
DelValle was severely injured June 11 when he was knocked to the pavement following a minor traffic accident in the Bronx, according to authorities.
The 65-year-old brother, father and grandfather was attempting to navigate a school bus through a narrow and crowded Anthony Avenue and clipped a mirror on a double-parked car, authorities said.
When DelValle exited the bus to survey the damage, the driver of the car allegedly began yelling at him. Surveillance video captured the car driver then punching DelValle so forcefully he was sent flying backward before his head slammed on the road.
The other driver fled the scene. He was later arrested.
DelValle never regained consciousness. His family says a funeral will be held in about two weeks after the medical examiner completes an autopsy.
DelValle had been driving a school bus for 10 years and was preparing to retire at the end of this school year, according to his sister. He'd already submitted his papers.
Atlantic Express, the bus company DelValle worked for, said it was deeply saddened by his death, calling him a gentle man who did his job professionally, with great dedication and compassion.
"The career of a school bus driver is a demanding one with great responsibility, but it should never be one where hard-working, honorable people are subjected to vicious and senseless violence," the company said in a statement.
"We must all stand together to ensure that violence against school bus drivers will not be tolerated and demand the maximum sentence against the perpetrator of this heartless crime which was witnessed by special education students."
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