NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A school bus driver in Queens abandoned the students he was tasked with taking home Friday.
The bus and the children were found around 3:30 p.m. next to a ball field on 134th Street in South Ozone Park.
Witnesses said the driver pulled over on the side of the road and ran away.
“He just abandoned the bus and abandoned the children,” witness Daphnie Haynes told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “All of a sudden, this school bus appeared driving erratically. I pulled over so that he could get around me, and then he pulled over. And at that point, he jumped out, ran toward the corner, made a left and continued running.”
The children, all under the age of 12, attend the Al-Ihsan Academy nearby.
Sources told CBS2 the driver was wanted in an unrelated domestic case. Police showed up at the school asking for him Friday afternoon. The school called the driver, he got scared and took off, Layton reported.
“I didn’t believe there was a bus driver who would just really leave his bus, and children started chasing him, too,” said one boy who was playing in the park. “That’s really scary.”
Haynes helped the seven or so kids by calming them down and calling their parents, who rushed to pick them up.
“I feel angry and hurt, because you know it’s our kids. But thank God there’s nice people around and some took care of them until the parents got here,” one mother said.
The bus was removed from the scene. All of the kids are OK.
“I’m glad that they were all safe,” Haynes said.
Police were still searching for the driver late Friday night.