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Boy, 5, Dropped Off At Wrong Bus Stop Miles From Home

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WPXI: Parents in Latrobe are upset after their young son was dropped off miles away from the right bus stop on Tuesday.

Jennifer Lombardo was frantic when her 5-year-old son Christopher didn't get off the Latrobe Elementary School bus, and she feared the worst.

"I was hysterically crying, screaming and crying," Lombardo said. "You see it on the news every day, kids getting abducted, taken by pedophiles and killed."

Lombardo said she didn't know where Christopher was for 25 minutes. He is a kindergarten student at Latrobe Elementary and has gotten off at the same bus stop since September.

But Tuesday afternoon, when Lombardo's husband went to meet the boy at the stop, Christopher wasn't there.

"The bus driver came back around and we asked if anyone is still on the bus," said Lombardo. "He said, 'No, no one's here.' He pulled off. He didn't call anyone or help us or anything."

Lombardo said a short time later, she got a phone call from school officials, saying her son had been located and that the bus driver accidentally dropped the boy off at the wrong stop. Lombardo says the stop is five miles away from theirs.

The bus company, First Student, offered an apology to the family and has also put a new bus policy in place.

"We apologize for any inconvenience to the family and the concerns they have," said company spokes man Tim Stokes.

Stokes also said Christopher got off the bus with a friend and went to the friend's house.

However, Lombardo said that's not the case.

"A nice lady happened to take him into her house, thankfully," said Lombardo. "No one took him or anything. She didn't know who he was."

Lombardo said she's still furious and wants more than an apology.

"I would like them to take some responsibly and initiative and discipline (the driver) in some way."

Because of this incident, First Student worked with the transportation director and implemented a new policy. From now on, the drivers will be given the names of the kindergarten students, along with their designated bus stop.

In addition, drivers have to make sure there is an adult or guardian present when the child gets off the bus.

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
cheri February 7, 2010, 7:22 AM

This has happened 3 x this year to my 6 yr old autistic son. Twice he was put on the wrong bus but was never let off. The last time the teacher put him on the wrong bus again. He was let off and was wandering the streets for over 45 minutes before he was even noticed missing. I was out of town and he was suppossed to go to his grandmas well when the bus got there and he wasn’t on it she called the school in hysterics and was told to calm down. The bus garage left a message on our house phone saying he was dropped off somewhere on Penn ave and to let them know if I hear from my son. Let me remind you he is 6. The state police were called in and there was a search party set up to help find him. we live in a rural west virginia town where everyone knows everybody but we do have 9 registered sex offenders within a 12 mile radious. My son made his way home went in a window and was laying in my bed crying when my mother found him. It was 26 degrees out that day. He still has nightmares. The principal instead of being concered for my son was to busy on the phone with me laying blame on the teacher, the bus driver whoever he could blame. I’m so thamkful that my son was not harmed. But for over 2 hour my son was unsupervised. Its scary that its happened so many times. I still have fears everday I send him to school. The first incident happened within the first week of school. The principal promised it would NOT happen again. The second time was in Dec. Once he again he made the same promise. The third incident happened in the same week.
The school has not done anything to insure this doesn’t happen again. We’ve been apologized too but thats it. Nobody has been held accountable for putting my son on the wrong bus or for letting him off teh bus without a parent at the bus stop.

Rita February 9, 2010, 11:32 AM

OMG that’s horrible!!! I wanna just hold your boy for going through that! That breaks my heart.

The bus driver, bus garage and school need to be held accountable for all 3 incidents, as well as being so blase about the whole thing. Is there a superintendent you can talk to?

cheapviagra4934 August 30, 2010, 6:39 AM
Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 9:20 AM

Good article. Nice and fun reading. There’s a point to offer about shirts.

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