Child Left on Bus in Fort Stockton

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON--"Please, these bus drivers need to be more cautious.  They say I'm taking this too far, extreme, but I don't think so.  That's my son!"

Yvonne Ureste says her son fell asleep on the bus, on the way to school, Tuesday morning. Even though he wasn't left alone for very long, she says, it's the principal of the thing. He should never have been in that situation, in the first place, "Apparently the lady didn't check after everyone got off.  She didn't check the bus to see if anybody was on the bus. They're supposed to check when they leave the bus at the bus barn.

7-year-old Manuel describes how he felt when he woke up, and realized, where he was, "I wanted Mom to pick me up because I was scared."

And it was some quick thinking on his part that helped get him out, "Knocking on the windows."

Bus drivers are supposed to check the bus from front to back at the end of every route, to make sure all the students have gotten off.  In this case, both sides agree, that didn't happen.

Fort Stockton ISD Assistant Superintendent Ralph Trayhnam confirmed the incident, "The bus driver left and failed to notice the child left on the bus."

Traynham tells NewsWest 9, this is the first time anything like this has ever happened in Fort Stockton ISD.   They now plan on putting some new policies in place, to keep it from happening again, "A procedure for the bus drivers when they bring the busses back to the bus barn and they are ready to leave, we're going to have them go to the back of the bus and actually put a sign on the back of the bus that shows that they were back there.  It moves from the front to the back.  Our transportation director will check the busses, he'll walk behind the busses and make sure the signs are all visible."

Ureste says she never let her children ride the bus before, because she feared they would be bullied or picked on.  Now, says she feels let down that Manuel had to go through something like this.

Even though he's a good, hardworking student who enjoys school, Manuel would now rather get there some other way, "I don't want to go on the bus no more, because they might do it again."