While a 7-year-old Houston girl was trapped in a van that was supposed to take her to school her mother was frantically searching for her.

The girl’s mother, who wished to remain anonymous, told KTKR that she dropped her daughter off at a private transportation shuttle company to take her to school but was later alerted that the 7-year-old never arrived.

Her mother told the outlet:

“I was frantic looking at that video footage and then I realized my child never got off the bus.”

Instead of being dropped off at school, the little girl was still on a Cypresswood Kids Shuttle passenger van en route to a local hotel.

As KTKR reports, around 8:00 a.m. that morning, video surveillance captured the alleged driver of the shuttle, David Preston, pulling his van into a hotel parking lot and then exiting the vehicle to go inside.

Thirty-five minutes later, a little girl was filmed coming around the front of the car. The 7-year-old managed to push a window open from inside the reportedly hot van and climb out.

In tears, the little girl headed towards the nearest main road. That’s where she was spotted by China Colbert, who was driving past. Colbert told KTKR:

“She was crying, it didn’t look right. It didn’t look like something I should just pass up and let go. So I decided to turn around.”

Colbert pulled over to help the little girl and called the police.

When questioned, Preston told authorities he didn’t know the little girl was still inside the shuttle. He is being charged with child endangerment.

The girl’s mother said she was under the impression that the owner of the shuttle company, whose house she took her daughter to in the morning, would be the driver of the shuttle — not someone else.

According to KTKR, the woman researched the owner the of the company and saw that she had no criminal record. Preston, however, reportedly does. When reporters tried to ask the owner about hiring a man with a previous criminal record she refused to comment.

The mother of the little girl just wants parents to be aware of what could happen to them and their children if they don’t pay attention.

Thirty-eight children have died as a result of being left in hot cars in 2017, according to No Heat Stroke. Thankfully, this little girl was not another statistic.

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