Kindergartner Left Alone on Bus For Hour

On one of the coldest mornings of the year Thursday, a little boy was left on his school bus in Hartford and was still on the bus when it finished its run.

The kindergarten student from Windsor was left on the bus for an hour, Albert Cortina of Logisticare, said.  The boy attends the CREC Montessori Magnet School.

When the school called his mother to ask where the boy was, she said she had put him on the bus.

The boy's parents went to the bus yard, along with the transportation manager for CREC, the Capital Region Education Council, and picked up the boy.

Cortina said the boy's father asked the child whether he'd fallen asleep. The boy said he had.

Because of the cold, the bus was left running so it was heated, Cortina said.

Logisticare officials believe the driver walked to the back of the bus, as he's supposed to, when he returns to the yard because all the seat belts were locked. The students usually don't do that before they get off the bus, Cortina said.

However, because the bus was running, the buzzer drivers have to turn off by walking to the back did not sound, he said.

Typically, said a spokesman for the Hartford public schools, a bus driver who leaves a student on a bus is fired.

This driver, who works for a subcontractor called Autumn Transportation, has 17 years experience driving school buses, Cortina says.

Autumn has been asked not to use him for CREC routes or routes in Hartford..

CREC manages the Hartford Public Schools' contract with Logisticare to carry students between CREC schools and the suburban towns where many CREC students live.

They take advantage of special programs and schools provided in the state government's effort to desegregate public schools in Hartford.

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