School bus. (File Photo/ JohnPickenPhoto/ Flickr)
School bus. (File Photo/ JohnPickenPhoto/ Flickr)

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday that the results of its investigation into an allegation of a Lakewood school bus operating during the coronavirus shutdown has been completed with the bus companies cleared of wrongdoing.

The investigation began after several individuals contacted the Lakewood Township Police Department, Toms River Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office after March 18, 2020 alleging that children were being picked up and/or dropped off by various school buses in northern Ocean County – specifically companies tied to Lakewood, the center of the outbreak in the county.

A subsequent investigation revealed that approximately 85 different buses from 4 bus companies – Jay’s Bus Service, Masoras Avos Bus Service, Semon Tov Bus Service and Harnett Bus Service – were being utilized to deliver food to various residences in Lakewood, Toms River, Brick and Jackson, “where residents were attempting to follow the Governor’s stay at home orders,” a statement from the office said. “Some drivers of these buses were accompanied by children who were helping make these deliveries,” the statement continued.

The statement continued: “To avoid further confusion, we have encouraged that any school buses being utilized for food distribution be adorned with proper signage indicating as much.  We likewise advise that children not participate in these food deliveries.”