Spokeswoman: Driver, Aide Fired After Special Needs Boy, 4, Left Alone In Hot School Bus For Hours

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A driver and bus aide have been fired after a 4-year-old boy was left in a hot bus for several hours Wednesday in the midst of a sweltering heat wave, according to a spokeswoman for Atlantic Express Bus Company.

Jersey City’s police chief said the special needs boy survived being left unattended in a parked school bus for more than five hours, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported.

The boy was found at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday by a bus mechanic at a bus lot on Newark Avenue and Routes 1 and 9. The parked bus had apparently not been checked by the driver and an aide who was on board.

The boy was picked up at 7:30 a.m., supposedly headed to a summer program at Jersey City’s P.S. 3 on Bright Avenue for a 7:50 a.m. arrival. Instead, the special needs boy was left on the bus until after 1 p.m., spending five hours alone in the sweltering heat.

Because of the boy’s disability, police said they haven’t been able to determine if he fell asleep, or if the driver and aide simply failed to check the bus.

The boy was taken to Christ Hospital and suffered no injuries, but Jersey City Police Chief Thomas Comey said it’s no small miracle that the child is alive.

“Everybody’s running around today doing stories about the heat,” he said. “This could have been a tragedy, but that tragedy has been averted, and this child is alive, home and running around like a normal 4-year-old.”

Police said the bus driver and aide were being questioned, and could face criminal charges of endangerment and neglect. Sources told CBS 2 that they each had at least five years on the job.

The mechanic who discovered the boy was being called a hero Wednesday afternoon after finding the boy and getting him immediate medical attention.

  • CliffordJ.

    Anyone else have an issue with how un-pc this report was. My wife is a teacher for individuals with special needs, so I have learned to put a defining adjective in front of the child is just plain wrong. His disability does not define the person that he is. He is a child with special needs, not some ‘special need’ who just happens to be a child as well. Come on channel 2!

  • bubby25

    There is a government program that needs to be cut. Who ever heard of having school in the summer. The school year is too long now.

    • JOsh

      This could possibly be the dumbest comment I’ve ever read.

    • Lisa Gipson

      Children with special needs don’t go to school in the summer just for the fun of it, they go for the education they need and deserve. What kind of person would want to take that away . If it was your child, would you be so selfish with the taxpayers dollers. I am more than happy to fund the program, and I don’t even have children yet.

  • mr x

    who cares. the kid is fine. Those of you with kids constantly make the assumption that those of us without kids actually care about your children and non stories like this where something bad almost happened but didn’t and we all have to listen to your crying about nothing

  • Bubba

    Who sends a 4 year old on a bus by themselves?

    • plymouthmom

      People who have a special needs child who attends school ass hat….. the level of stupidity can be astounding :/

    • Finbar

      So, what are you gonna do now that your out of your bus driver gig, Bubba?

  • buckeyejim

    Another fine example of our wonderful union workers doing, i mean not doing their jobs. But have no fear union workers , Barry Obozo will dispatch Eric Holder to step in and make sure all charges are drop. against the union brothers . And the special needs boy will be charge with causing a riot, endangering police officers and EMT workers, misuse of county and state equipment..

    • stephanie white

      Love yoru comment BE Jim!

  • Will Harris

    I Pledge Allegiance to a Republic in which government schools are banned.

  • Eric in MO

    You make the degenerate punk sit on the bus for 5 hours the next day before you fire him. Time for hammurabi’s law to come back

  • JAD283

    Is the bus equiped with a “child check mate” system? All the buses in the company that I drive for have this system installed in every vehicle that carries school children. The driver has to go to the back of the bus and push a button to shut off the “alarm” within 45 seconds of shutting off the engine of the bus. If it is not reset, then the bus horn starts blasting intermittenly. This system was suggested by a driver some years ago. If you have to walk to the back then you check for sleeping or hiding kids. Then after you leave the bus, you look through the rear door to make sure again that there is not a child under a seat. It has happened, that is why this system is in place.

  • dave

    Common Sense….check the damn seats for kids…..hello???

  • stevie weevie

    Whether or not you like unions or not doesn’t matter. The said union must defend the member, or the union itelf can face a failure-to-represent lawsuit from the member. That is a “big bucks” lawsuit. I don’t condone nor advocate, so I’m just providing info.

    • RobertnSC

      How can you defend the indefencible?

      • Segeny

        Just ask Jose Baez

  • DJmore

    It makes me so sad thinking of that little boy, stranded all alone, in that sweltering furnace of a bus.

    • stephanie white

      Yes and he is the one that is to feel sorry for – not the bus driver or aide – why weren’t they doing their jobs? I have a autistic boy, in GA – we have summer school but he is to “far advanced” for it. I can only imagine if that was my child – and these children, since I am a mother of a special needs child are put in a bus with seat belts – my child this child wasn’t being a hooligan running around – he was strapped in the bus. There is no excuse for this.

  • asbach1989

    It is unfair that the driver and aid were terminated without a Union hearing. There are contracts that should be adhered. Totally unfair that they were let go without a full hearing. I hope there is an appeals process for the driver and aid.

    • yiddishlion

      Obviously you are an O’bama supporting loser with the required IQ of 25.

      • stephanie white


        Love yoru comment – so glad to have found this site – and to know that people up north all don’t drink the tea – although asbach – must really love it. I guess if her/him/it’s kid been in the bus, they would be screaming – this was a child, a 4 yo and these were two grown adults – there is no excuse.

    • RobertnSC

      You’re full of it. There are offenses which preclude the need for any hearing. If that child had died, do you think the union would have a hearing after the employee’s conviction in a court of law? Hmmm, drink some more of the koolaid.

    • Nan Richardson

      i an in a union and work on school buses w special needs. Most union contracts and policies are very clear when It comes to this stuff. my opinion they should be fired, inexcusable, they know the rules!!

  • Joe C

    I drive a school bus. It is PART OF OUR JOB to check the bus every time we get to a destination. It takes less than a minute to walk to the back and back to the front. My bet it was probably a small van type bus in which case you could probably see a sleeper by accident. The problem here is that neither the monitor or the driver gave a damn about doing their job. Good ridence to two brain dead idiots that give the good drivers a bad name!

  • Drake Douglas Deming

    Just another countless example of degenerate government at work that hires mental deficient people and takes your wealth at gun point to pay them.

    If you don’t pay your property taxes they will send government goons to your home and if you refuse them they will kill you so the aforementioned moron will be paid.

    Government is men and women providing services at the barrel of a gun.

    ———— http://911essentials.com

    • karli7777777

      you’re a moron.

  • 2BFree2B

    I’m sure the school superintendent and teacher’s union will support the aid and driver who almost killed the little boy. Unions support their own even if they are worthless. Union bosses need as many members as possible to make the big bucks.

    • John

      Amen. This is the one thing about unions that is unforgiveable. My father was injured in a mining accident. The man driving the dozer that rammed his dumptruck only had the job because the steelworkers’ union defended him when he was caught DRUNK and DRINKING on the job twice before. Unions care about one thing: maintaining unions.

      • stephanie white

        I am going to have to bookmark this site – :) I am so glad to see that other people aren’t braindead – Unions at what point in time were good and useful and were actually morally good. But unfortunately, that time has long since passed – and all they want to do is maintain their union –

  • Deb

    It doesn’t matter if the boy fell asleep, the driver and aid failed to check the bus.

    They should never drive another bus again, but I’m sure they will be hired by another school district.

  • conge44

    “Because of the boy’s disability, police said they haven’t been able to determine if he fell asleep, or if the driver and aide simply failed to check the bus”. how is this even important, is a sleeping kid invisible? this is clear incompetence, the least a bus driver can do is do a seat check when he/she is done. seems to me they are looking for an excuse to cover their a$$.

    • Mike

      Are the school bus drivers union labor? If so, the police are also in a union, and union employee will defend union employee. It doesn’t matter who or what suffers or dies!

      • wesleyapril

        Mike – you said what I was thinking. :)

  • Moon

    0:15 seconds into the video some clown moons the camera (guy on the right in the upper left). the dope should be arrested for public exposure. They CBS why don’t you blur out these jerks? you don’t watch your own video?

  • NoFilterPaul

    I doubt he’s “running around like a normal 4-year-old.”. He’s probably standing in place. Greets to all O&A fans from NFP 8-)

  • AtlasObjectivist

    Obviously we need the Democrats to pass more laws, hire more drivers and assistants, while giving the union and school district more money. Look at the successes of other Democratic cities like…. Detroit.

  • Joe

    If they left a dog in a car they would have been arrested. Why were these people not? Child endangerment.

    • ZOO


      • wesleyapril

        I have to agree – but I think overall, that certain parties, could care less about the safety of children – it is all about themselves and what they can get for themselves, and how they can make themselves number one.

  • Terry Miller

    Your tax dollars at work. Once again government fails. Anachry is looking good.

    • Lou Voren

      Isn’t civil service wonderful?

    • wesleyapril

      :) Terry –

  • Feral Apes

    bet my paper slippers it was a monkeys on crack…

  • Fed Up

    Ok they say not clear if child fell asleep or if the driver and aide didn’t check. This is ridiculous. Whether he fell asllep or not they are REQUIRED to check and walk the entire bus and even if not required intelligence and common sense would tell any adult to check all seats. Let me guess i wonder what these bus drivers look like. I already know , can you guess. People do not take their responsibilities seriously and this is what causes terrible things like this to happen. I hope they throw the book at the idiots.

  • farquar

    The aide should be arrested and jailed after being fined.

  • David Chuck

    The best part of this was the commercial before the news. A terrorist warning. A guy leaves a bag on a bus. “Don’t assume it was left accidentally”

  • altheajj

    Even the busses that have the signs THIS BUST HAS BBE CHECKED FOR SLEEPING CHILDREN are a joke. I have seen these signs on the bus. Unfortunately, there were children still on the bus as the driver was still doing his run. So, how could the bus have been checked?

  • kck

    what doesn’t make sense is why didn’t the school call the parent when the child didn’t show up? They are responsible as well.

    • Shelley Matzelt Samples

      I have a special needs child and they don’t always call if I forget to call my child in sick for the day.

      • wesleyapril


        I don’t think I was ever called when my son didn’t show up for school this last year – he was out for three days, and we were called to be told to call and cancel the bus if it all possible – but I was never notified that my son wasn’t in school. They have however, done that for my nt daughter that is 12.

    • altheajj

      Absolutely not the school’s job.

      • Phil

        Of course it’s the school’s job to take attendance and call the family when a child doesn’t show up at school. Why would you think it isn’t the school’s job? Fwiw, my kids’ elementary school (public) does this…

      • common sense

        Sorry, it is the school’s job. The parent’s SHOULD have been notified. We pay plenty of tax monies to these schools – they CAN BE held accountable.

      • LittleOldMe

        Schools have been notifying parents of absent children for quite some time. I graduated 15 years ago; my high school teachers took attendance on Scantron forms and sent them to the office. If you missed 2nd period, the system made an automated phone call to the number on record to advise your parents you were not at school.

        Considering this child was attending a special education program, I would think a phone call in the event of an absence is SOP.

  • Floyd

    Note to self: Pick up Quart of Milk, Loaf of Bread, Cigarettes… oh and check for young boys and girls in bus before I leave the bus.



    • Marcia Reed

      Not gonna happen if they are unionized. Thank you, democrats!

      • joe

        teamsters union in fact

  • mike

    regardless if he fell asleep or not, arent these people getting paid to do a job? and in the description of “BUS AID” doesnt that mean “AID THE DRIVER OR HELP THE DRIVER”? what is wrong with this picture, inadiquite people are being hired to look after our children! UN ACCEPTABLE..PERIOD!

    • altherjj

      Aide Bus Aide

  • Ken Wetalk

    $11.00 hr. in NC. (You get what u pay for.)


    Guys, I am a teacher in NYC. These buses are a joke. I have kids that get bus service and they are very late every day. When I question that, the answer is, “that’s the bus, not them!”, like this makes it ok!!! I am convinced they hire anybody to drive these buses and the matrons are obviously just as useless. AND THE CITY OF NY PAYS FOR THESE SERVICES, BIG BUCK CONTRACTS TOO!!

  • letsgomets2011

    Nobody even checks a bus to see what kids or aids have left behind?? Incredible.

  • MIKE

    “Because of the boy’s disability, police said they haven’t been able to determine if he fell asleep, or if the driver and aide simply failed to check the bus.”
    This is what the writer wrote…why cant yahoo writers any better

    • al.thea

      “if he fell asleep, or if the driver and aide simply failed to check the bus” This sentence does not even make sense. Obviously the driver and aide did not check the bus. Perhaps the child fell asleep. What difference does it make if the child was awake or sleeping WHEN THE DRIVER AND AIDE FAILED TO CHECK THE BUS!!

  • rosey

    Gosh… How hard is it to walk to the back of the buss and check under the seats??? Thank God this boy made it home safe and sound.

  • Cara

    A four year old child should be home with parents or other family for the summer. Increasingly people have disabled children and stick them in schools and programs from the time they are 2 until the time they die. These poor children are in “schools” 12 months of the year. Stop expecting everyone else to care for your special needs children.

    • Matt

      Cara, you couldnt be more wrong. Most of these children with special needs make a lot of progess during the school year. When the take the summer off the regress and have to start all over again the following year. The programs are there for a reason.

      • Michael H.

        Cara, what a dopey comment. My autistic son receives all of his speech, occupational, physical and other therapies at school. Before he started school, I had to take off of work and run around to multiple different locations for his therapies. Thankfully, NYC schools include his therapy with his school day, and the program he is in is an all year program. He gets a few weeks off to enjoy the summer, but since starting school, he has made remarkable progress. Research and learn before you open your trap, genius.

      • Liz

        Matt you are right but that isn’t the story hrere. Part of the job of an attendent is to check the bus . How hard can it be to walk to the back of the bus and then to the front. Many times little children fall asleep on the bus and have to be waken to get off. That poor child must have been so frightened when he found himself alone and shut in a hot bus no less. The adults should be held accountable. They were paid to do a job and failed. Lucky the child is alive.

    • Greg


      I am glad to finally find someone who has sense. Our son stays at home with his mother. Rather than send him off for strangers to care for, my wife and I, the people who love him and care for him most, take care of him. I can’t imagine trusting somebody else to raise my son.

    • mommyluv

      Cara, you should be a bus driver or aide. I’m sure if you’re this dumb to think that parents send their children with special needs to a summer program just for fun, you’ll get the job!
      Educate yourself before posting a comment.
      Speech, physical and occupational therapies are provided to them, and these are services not covered by most insurance companies, so parents send them to avoid the risk of regression.
      So don’t forget and fill out an application, i’m sure you can fill one the 2 positions that just opened.

      • Greg


        What are you saying about bus drivers? I find it extremely offensive that you would suggest that bus drivers are dumb. Many of them are very hard working people trying to support families.

    • KLo

      Cara you’re a b-tch. As a mother of a special needs child, your comments are abhorent. I’ve had to stick my son in school since he was 3 to receive therapy and rehabilitative services for him. I would gladly keep him home with me all day, but the federal government mandates that the schools provide the therapy for special needs children once they turn 3. We are only trying to help our children reach their greatest potential, not trying to find a babysitter so we can eat bon bons all day. G-d help you, please don’t procreate.

      • Greg


        Maybe the problem is with the federal government forcing you to send your child to school…

      • Oberon

        What’s your issue with hyphens, KLo? Find another word for female dog that will be acceptable here. And, the deity is God, not G-d. Do you really think that God will be censored?

    • Oberon123

      I agree with you, Cara. It looks as though I am the only person who does. If I had a special needs child, s/he would be home with me.

      • KLo

        Hey Oberon123, if you had a special needs child, I do hope you have the money to privately pay for services, or you would be sending your child to school for services like the rest of us. Unless, that is, you could care less to see your child progress. Unfortunately, I do know people who can’t be bothered to take care of their special child’s needs.

        And just so you know, I hyphenated for the sake of other readers and my own religion.

    • wesleyapril

      That isn’t the issue here – my child can stay in school until he is 21 – but the more he is in school, the more it opens his mind up. We don’t have “normal” children – and if our school district does have the program and our children are able to participate then mine will. Do you have a special needs child, Cara? From your comment, I am guessing not. Maybe some compassion can be showed on us parents that do have children that are that way.

  • Michael B. Oliphant

    I can not truly understand how again this could have happened…I wasn’t there however, myself once a school bus driver for years you could not have paid me not to check my bus when driving little folks at that age . I had experienced once when a child did fall asleep underneath a bench seat that was over the bus rear wheel well knocked out. Driving little folks you CAN NOT TAKE ANY CHANCES!!! I feel for the driver and his aide but, more so than the aide the driver should have known better – PERIOD.

  • TerribleWriters

    How many times will an article belittle the word “hero”. Someone who happens across a boy in a bus that they are working on is a hero? Isn’t a hero more than just someone who happens across a situation and behaves in the same normal fashion anyone would?
    Running into a burning bus to help someone….now that could be a hero/

    • Sunny

      I guess this hero was looking for a place to take a nap after heavy lunch and found the boy.

  • MumNY

    Gosh, I read this article and said that is really awful what happened and thankfully this poor little boy survived (I am not being cavalier about the incident and find it incredibly horrible that this stuff goes on all the time, no matter how many rules and regulations are set in place) and all I am reading are nasty comments about racism, welfare and the like. What the h*ll does the color of one’s skin have to do with being irresponsible ,working way below par and jeopardizing the welfare of a child? Such hate and disrespect….it is pretty sickening,

  • Topspin

    What’s with the racist comments. What was done was wrong and it doesn’t matter what their race is. I don’t judge all white people based on one jerk chopping up a little boy in brooklyn.

    • racefanaz

      @ Topspin the difference is this, BLACKS dont condemn each other! if a white, right wing hard core conservative breaks the law, etc. Ill be right there to arrest and prosecute him, the blacks will have protests, free mumia, he was framed by whitey, etc. THATS the difference

    • wesleyapril

      Now no where in the article, or video – which I didn’t see – did I hear what the color of the bus driver, bus aide or child was. Why is it that most black people, while shouting racist – is the most racist?

  • runnergirl74

    “coloreds” What on earth are you talking about?

    My husband and I make nearly $500,000/year. His mom’s a school bus driver, my dad’s a plumber. We both have masters degrees, send our kids to private school and own our home. We are proud of our blue collar upbringings and our strong parents who raised us right.

    You are disgusting. Take your judgments, your prejudices and please find a new country to live in. A private island with other people who ‘hate’ each other would suit you fine. You are an EMBARRASSMENT to the HUMAN race!

    • Greg

      Congratulations on your income.

    • joe


    • Melaine Cooper

      Thank you for putting that so well. Stupid and lazy have no “color”.

  • Bronxgirl

    You read about this stuff happening time and time again. How does it happen to overlook a child left on a bus, especially in sweltering or freezing weather? Does not the driver and/or aide check the bus from front to back before leaving the vehicle? It’s absolutely mind boggling. Luckily there have been no deaths to date; but it’s bound to happen. These organizations are going to have to tighten up their security procedures and re-educate the idiots they’ve hired to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Maybe surveillance cameras should be installed on these buses so authorities could investigate exactly how something like this could possibly happen. It’s not brain surgery – just good old common sense.

  • steve

    Jesus, these driver-aide teams have to be the stupidest people on earth. Unfortunately, they truly will be leeching off welfare now.

    • mommyluv

      Is true! these people are the dumbest out there! but it all comes down to the bus companies hiring stupid people to be resposible for children safety. They do what’s cheapest, and what is cheaper than hiring people from caribbean islands that know nothing and have no common sense!
      In NJ 95% of school bus drivers and aides are dominican. I “myself” just had to rip my sons bus driver a new a**hole because it seems she likes to sweat for a living!!!!! not turning the ac on the bus in the middle of a heat wave!!!!!!!
      Bottom line is they’re all dumb!

  • ProFromDover

    Good. These “workers” one degree removed from the Welfare rolls don’t give a damnn about their job or responsibilities.

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