Bus Company Says Both Have Been Terminated For Failing To Inspect Vehicle

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A school bus driver and bus matron on Staten Island are facing charges after allegedly leaving a 4-year-old girl alone in the vehicle for hours.

The driver parked his bus at the Consolidated Bus Transit facility Wednesday on Chelsea Road and left, unaware that the child was still on board, police told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

Carla Sebedra, who attends a day care center, was picked up at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, but was not dropped off at the usual time of 3:30 p.m.  Her mother, who moved to Staten Island from Mexico with two of her three children, waited and worried, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.

She later went to the school and at 5:40 p.m., the girl was discovered on the bus and finally dropped off at 6 p.m. The child’s mother said after Carla woke up on the bus, she was crying.

The girl and she was taken to a local hospital to be checked out and was determined to be fine.

The driver, 50-year-old Felix Del Valle of Staten Island, and the bus matron, 58-year-old Lucilla Cruz, were both arrested and charged with failure to exercise control of a minor, according to the criminal complaint. They do not work for the Department of Education, but rather Consolidated Bus Transit.

Both Del Valle and Cruz said they had checked the bus for children, but did not see any before completing their shifts, according to the complaint.

Del Valle and Cruz have been terminated for failing to follow a strict company policy of thoroughly checking their bus at the end of each run to make sure there are not children on the bus, according to Consolidated Bus Transit spokesman Peter Silverman.

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