Michigan student with special needs gets lost on bus ride home

Dean Transportation said that the driver has been advised to immediately look for a secure spot to pull over and doublecheck for the student in question.
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 6:29 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - “I immediately go into hysteria, I was so scared,” recalled Danielle Krimmel, talking about the day her 4-year-old son with autism was lost during his bus ride home.

Krimmel’s son, Micah, goes to Willow Elementary School. On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Krimmel waited for her son to make it home on the Dean Transportation school bus, but he never did.

“He usually gets off about 4 o’clock. You know, 4:10 rolls around, 4:15 rolls around and he’s still not home,” said Krimmel.

Krimmel said she called the school again at 4:20 p.m. and spoke to a lady from Dean Transportation who tried to help find her son.

“She calls over to the bus driver and he says ‘I’m sorry, we never picked Micah up from school,’ and I said ‘What?’” said Krimmel.

Unsure of what could’ve happened to her son, Krimmel said she started to second guess herself and thought wondered if maybe Micah was put on the wrong bus. Krimmel said that’s when she remembered the tracker she leaves in her son’s backpack.

“I check it, it shows that he’s all the way on Jolly and MLK, like a solid 15 minutes from where the school is and where we live,” said Krimmel.

Krimmel said she asked Dean Transportation if they have a bus route that goes to Jolly and MLK. Placed on a brief hold, Krimmel said she started to think of all the bad things that could be happening to her son.

“She gets on, she’s like ‘We think we found him, the bus should be there in about 10-15 minutes,’” said Krimmel.

An entire hour goes by before Krimmel can lay eyes on Micah.

Dean Transportation said that the driver has been advised to immediately look for a secure spot to pull over and double check for the student in question. The bus service also said students on that particular route must have an adult present during drop-off.

“She was just like, ‘I spoke to the bus driver, he’s really sorry – we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. I gave him some tips and pointers telling him that next time somebody asks you twice if their kid’s on the bus, you have to pull over and check,’” said Krimmel.

Using a tracker she keeps in her backpack, Krimmel was able to locate her son more than 10 minutes away from their neighborhood. She urges other parents to take their own safety precautions to help in situations like this.

Dean Transportation also said in a statement that the student remained on board at all times with other students, the driver, and an adult bus attendant. The driver and the attendant have both gotten additional consultation following this incident.

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