Cause of death revealed for 15-year-old boy who died after medical emergency on Orange County school bus

The Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday revealed the cause of death of 15-year-old Jasiel Sanders, who died after suffering a medical emergency on board an Orange County school bus back in April. 

The incident happened in late April while Sanders was on his way to school, according to the Orlando Police Department. He was showing signs of a medical emergency and was transported to a local hospital where he later died. 

Sanders died of natural causes, according to the report. His death was the result of "bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli due to deep vein thromboses with a contributory factor of obesity," the Medical Examiner's Office said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a deadly condition where blood clots get stuck in the lung's arteries. 

Jasiel Sanders, 15, died after suffering a medical emergency on an Orange County Public Schools school bus on April 29, 2024. (Photo: Osborne & Francis Law Firm)

In the days after Sanders' death, his parents and their attorneys held a press conference where they accused the bus driver and the school district of negligence. They said the bus driver didn't pull over, despite the pleas from Sanders' 13-year-old sister who said her brother needed help. 

"You shouldn't let the child get on the bus if you see the signs," Sanders' mother Victoria O'Neal said. Sanders' sister said her brother had been having trouble breathing in the six minutes after they'd left their house that morning. "Maybe my son would have still been here." 

Sanders' sister reportedly told the bus driver that her brother was having trouble breathing and passed out. 

"'We need help. We need 911,'" Sanders' sister said, according to her mother. 

It wasn't until an unrelated altercation erupted in the back of the bus that the bus driver pulled over, according to attorney Greg Francis of Osborne & Francis. In the statement from Orange County Public Schools, they said the bus driver noticed the teenager having a medical emergency after the fact and then called 911, which, according to the school district, is "standard operating procedure."

Francis said that's not true based on what they've learned from Sanders' sister and other students on the bus.

"(The sister), in fact, had apprised the bus driver on a number of occasions that her brother was having problems and that the bus driver, at one point, asked, ‘Is he faking? Is he playing? Is he faking?'" Francis said. 

O'Neal confirmed to reporters that day that her son did not have a previously known medical condition. 

"I'm still hurt from it. I'm still going through it. It's not gonna bring my son back, but all I know is that my daughter wanted to save her brother's life. … She saw her brother take his last breath and close his eyes and that's something no one should witness, especially a 13-year-old," O'Neal said. "Right now, my daughter is traumatized from this.

"She's gonna need help. I'm gonna need help. I don't know how I'm going to go through this, cope through this. I'm grieving, I'm hurt. I just want answers on why nobody didn't do what they were supposed to do to save my son."

Sanders' family and their attorneys are conducting their own independent investigation to figure out what happened to the teenager.