Fargo mom upset son was left on school bus for several hoursFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - An angry Fargo mom is speaking out Friday, after her son was forgotten on his school bus for several hours Thursday, in sub-zero temperatures. In fact he was one of two students left unattended on the bus, after they fell asleep in their seats.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - An angry Fargo mom is speaking out Friday, after her son was forgotten on his school bus for several hours Thursday, in sub-zero temperatures.
In fact he was one of two students left unattended on the bus, after they fell asleep in their seats.
Both children were riding on the same Valley Bus School bus Thursday morning, number 200, but were found at two separate times.
That means Valley bus drivers failed to check the vehicle, which is part of their protocol, more than once.
It's the end of a normal school day for Amanda Engst and her 5-year-old son Preston, but yesterday was a much different story.
Amanda Engst/Son Left on Bus: “I'm very mad, upset. This should've not happened.”
Preston was one of two kindergarteners who didn't get off the bus at school in the morning.
The school called Amanda wondering why he wasn't in class.
Engst: “Panic mode set in. I'm like, 'Really where is my kid?'”
The bus driver failed to check the bus before getting off himself- not noticing two kids left in back.
Engst: “He was sleeping, that's all he said is he was sleeping. It didn't seem to affect him. He wasn't scared, thank God.”
Fortunately in these subzero temps, the bus was running, another driver eventually noticed the other boy, but Preston was still sleeping.
They didn't find him until two hours later.
Engst: “That's not okay. You're supposed to do your checks. They have their procedures and apparently two bus drivers now never did that.”
Each bus is even equipped with alarms reminding drivers to do checks- After the bus is turned off, the driver must walk to the back to disable them.
John McLaughlin/Valley Bus Gen. Manager: “I think this is pretty serious. I think there's a reason why we've installed all of those systems on all of our busses. It's to make sure these things don't happen. It's important especially if it's 20 degrees below zero.”
McLaughlin only went on camera after the school district asked him to, when WDAY first went to Valley Bus, he refused and told me people are overreacting, kids fall asleep on the bus all the time.
Engst: “He could've had hypothermia. I mean yeah, thankful the bus got left on, for whatever reason that was. But if it wasn't yeah, I wouldn't have my son here right now.”
Amanda says she is seeking legal action and hopes the driver is fired, Valley bus says he does face disciplinary action.