Small child forgotten on a Tulsa school bus

Wednesday, November 24th 2004, 10:11 am
By: News On 6

Thousands of kids get on and off of Tulsa Public School buses everyday. And it's the bus driver's job to make sure they all make it off. But the system broke down Tuesday and a little boy was left behind.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims says 4-year-old Antonio Cuthbert Junior fell asleep on the way to school. When he woke up, he was all alone, the route was over, the bus parked and the driver gone.

Antonio Cuthbert Junior usually takes the bus from daycare to school, but he got a little sleepy Tuesday morning. When he woke up from his nap, he was all alone. "It was nobody on the bus it was just me."

The bus was parked back in the Tulsa Public Schools’ bus yard, empty of students and the driver. Antonio’s father Antonio Cuthbert: "another person later on was cleaning the bus or something found my baby at the back of the bus by himself they had left em there for like an hour."

Cuthbert admits his son is shy and quiet, but he says that's no excuse. "That could have been anyone of those babies. Somebody needs to know something about that. Cause one of these days everybody ain’t gonna be as lucky as he was."

Kids falling asleep on buses is not unusual. But Tulsa Public Schools have procedures in place to make sure even sleepy students aren't overlooked. Drivers are supposed to put up this sign at the back of the bus at the end of every route to remind them to check every aisle. 4-year-old Antonio's driver didn't follow procedure. And the district’s transportation department says they're taking disciplinary action against the driver.

Antonio Cuthbert Senior says he's just glad his son was all right. "I just wanted to talk to em and make sure he was alright that’s all I was really worried about."

Tulsa Public School's transportation department is taking this incident very seriously. They also say a child being forgotten is pretty rare.