Hero: Bus Driver Saves Toddler Abandoned on Roadside by Car Thief
In an awesome display of teamwork, two district bus drivers worked together as the first responders in what could have been a very tragic situation.
On what should have been a typical school day at the bus stop on October 4th, the mother of a school-age child and toddler was helping her school-age child board the school bus, according to WXMI.
It was about 8:10 a.m. She had left the toddler in his car seat in the running vehicle for what should have only been a moment, and for the sake of simplicity, the driver’s side door had also been left open.
But in that moment, the beginning of a nightmare suddenly took place.
As the mother was helping her school-age child on the bus, she heard her vehicle’s open door slam shut.
She quickly turned to see a strange man in her vehicle and watch him take off with her baby strapped in the back seat. It’s suspected that the thief was originally unaware that the baby was there.
School bus driver Dave Skinner just happened to be driving along 48th street when he saw people who were frantically waving their arms for help. He stopped to see if he could assist, according to mlive.com.
“When you get close enough you can see the look in mom and dad’s eyes you knew something was wrong,” Skinner said in an interview with FOX 17. “It’s kind of a judgment call so I stopped.”
Though there was a language barrier, he was able to piece together the horrific situation. Skinner put in a call to 911. Then he radioed Kelloggsville Public Schools Transportation Director Kristin Nickelson.
Shortly after that, school bus driver Sue just happened to be driving along the street where Skinner’s bus had stopped. When she saw her fellow bus driver sitting there, she stopped to check on him.
At the time, both bus drivers had empty buses.
“It’s a team effort here in the school district. I wouldn’t really consider myself a ‘hero.’ I was at the right place at the right time.”
A @kvrocketsps bus driver helped a family get their 2yo back after 👧 was in the back seat of parents car when it was stolen. // @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/eQIH3s63P4
— Lauren Edwards (@LaurenEdwardsTV) October 5, 2022
Skinner explained the situation to his coworker, who just happened to pass a small boy on the side of the road wrapped in a blanket about a half-mile back. She immediately turned her bus around and went to get the boy, who was unharmed.
When the parents got their toddler back, they were deeply grateful and relieved.
“They are heroes. They deserve all the credit,” Nickelson said about the two bus drivers.
The stolen vehicle was later located in Grand Rapids by Kentwood police. Investigators are saying the crime seems to be random, and they are continuing to look for whoever stole the vehicle.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentwood Police Department Detective Bureau at 616-656-6604. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or SilentObserver.org.