A Tennessee mother demands answers after she put her 5-year-old son on an aftercare bus, only to find out the driver forgot about him.
The driver had walked away and left for the day.
Uneisha Bradford told WTCV she was distraught when she watched the heartbreaking moment her son was left crying frantically after he was left alone in the vehicle.
Bradford’s son rides a Chattanooga bus service to Chambliss Center for Children, however, on Friday he wasn’t dropped off.
Surveillance video captured the incident from inside the special transit bus. In the clip, it appears as if the young child had fallen asleep and woke up to find he was all alone.
The 5-year-old panicked and spent about ten minutes trying to figure out how to exit the bus when the driver failed to do a walk through after the rest of the children got off.
Watch the video below:
The boy finally figured out how to open the doors and got off the bus. Eventually, he was able to find a stranger to help after wandering in the parking lot.
“Anybody could’ve got him!”
The distraught mother added:
“What if those people weren’t out there?”
According to Chambliss Director Philip A. Acord the STS bus driver and childcare employee, “dropped the ball.”
“The STS driver is supposed to walk through, which she did not do.
Our teachers are supposed to walk through… She looked under the seat and said she looked for legs and book bags and didn’t see anything.”
“And then when the driver gets back to the STS and she parks her bus, she’s supposed to get up and go back again.”
Directors at The Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency (SETHRA) and Chambliss both agree that there’s no good explanation for what happened.
However, the incident served as a wake-up call to look out for kids left behind.
The driver has been with STS since 2016. She is suspended, pending an investigation but the program was already scheduled to shut down on December 31 because of funding.
— Latricia Thomas (@LatriciaTnc9) December 18, 2018
Both the Chambliss employee and the bus driver were suspended.
Bradford said her son will no longer ride the bus anymore.