After a school bus driver’s nearly fatal mistake, a kindergartener was left on a bus for three hours in 90 degree heat on the first day of school.
Coley Newton, a mom from southern Illinois, took to social media to share her daughter’s story. In a Twitter thread that quickly went viral, Coley explained that her developmentally delayed child was abandoned on the bus because of the driver’s careless behavior.
After arriving at school, Coley’s daughter did not exit the bus. Drivers are required to check the bus at the end of their route to make sure all of the young passengers hop off and enter the school safely, but this driver didn’t check at all.
“The bus driver DID NOT check whatsoever when he pulled in,” Coley wrote on Twitter. “He just got off. She tried to get his attention but failed. She knows to stay in her seat so that’s where she stayed.”
Eventually, Coley received a call from the school notifying her that her daughter was absent. School administrators initially thought maybe her bus was late, but they soon realized she never even entered the building.
Thankfully, Coley’s daughter was still in good health when she was finally rescued. Her only complaint was a stomachache.
Coley explained that her daughter was the only child on the bus who attended her school, so she didn’t know when to get off. Then, at the end of the ride, the driver completely skipped checking the bus for kids.
As Coley mentioned, children sitting in a hot vehicle on a summer day is incredibly dangerous. While her daughter emerged from the incident relatively unscathed, it’s very possible the driver’s mistake could have been fatal.
In an interview with Scary Mommy, Coley reports her daughter is “doing great” and that the bus driver was fired immediately. Even though she went through a nightmare of a first day of school, her daughter is not afraid of riding the bus.
She ended her thread with a serious warning to parents of young children who take the bus to school.
“Remind your kids’ bus drivers to CHECK EVERY SEAT BEFORE LEAVING,” she urged. “PLEASE. My child survived three hours but yours might not. Please. Take the extra 2 minutes. Learn from us. We were almost a tragedy. A preventable tragedy. Please remind them.”