Reader-submitted: A frightening incident

school-bus-tlsDear readers, I just wanted to make the public aware of a scary incident that happened today with my son’s school bus.

I was waiting for my sons bus along with my neighbor who also had a son on the bus. We were waiting from 1:40. Last week, the bus came 1:45. We live pretty close to school, and should be the first stop.

We waited an hour and still no bus. By 3:00, I drove down to the school. The principal and secretary had no answers. They were nervous themselves. They said the the bus company can’t make contact with the drivers. I drove home. By this time it was 3:15.

I can’t even describe the crazy thoughts going through my mind. We live pretty in a crazy world with some crazy people. I was ready to call the police.

My husband went out to drive around and see if he finds the bus or some kind of clue. He spotted a few busses from that company sitting by Quick Check. He looked to see if there were any boys on the bus. They were empty. Only the drivers. B’Chasdei Hashem, one of the drivers he spotted was his uncle, a frum Jew, who works for this bus company. He told him that a bus with our son and a bunch more boys never got home yet and it’s been over 2 hours. My uncle swung into action!

He radioed the dispatcher, who located the bus. The bus was close to Jackson. My uncle drove his bus, with my husband following behind to the missing bus. He was on a block off of County Line Rd., just sitting and playing with his phone!

Baruch Hashem the kids were safe, although shaken up. My husband took some boys home that lived in our area, and his uncle drove the rest home on his bus.

My uncle confronted the driver and asked what he was doing. The driver said he didn’t know how to drive the route! My, uncle told him, if you don’t know, you call the office!!

My son told us they were sitting on the bus for a very long time. I asked what was the driver doing? He said “Nothing, just sitting and playing with his phone.”

Needless to say, the driver will be reported.

I just want to ask all of you to please keep your eyes open! The bus was parked on a frum block, probably for over an hour with at least 20 boys on it. If you see a bus on your block like that, find out what is going on. A bus doesn’t belong sitting there with passengers.

We all have to look out for each other!

Thank you Hashem for protecting and saving our children!

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  1. Ridiculous, of course they can call their drivers. We need to sign into law. Bus companies must be able to reach their drivers. In addition busses must be tracked with GPS.

  2. If his uncle, a bus driver, was able to radio dispatch then that means that the bus company CAN communicate with the drivers. So, why are we always being told they can’t reach the drivers?

  3. In Eretz Yisroel my young children used the city bus in Beitar and it was ALOT safer and sensible than this broken system. The dispatcher was in control of all the buses and there were specific routes with adult supervision. In contrast, the whole idea of school buses and accompanying laws are an exaggeration of safety and just brings extra challenges.
    Don’t make life so complicated. Just open a regular bus company for young and old alike and everyone will pay for a measly monthly pass.

  4. Can’t understand how no other parents contacted the bus company, who would’ve contacted the driver…either way it seems there’s another horrific bussing experience each day

  5. I think it should be either sponsored or mandatory for bus companies to buy gps tracking devices for all their busses, to know their location at any given time.

    Thank You

  6. Just curious, did you call the bus company?

    I had a similar situation with my primary daughters bus. It was running over an hour late on one of the first days we got bussing and after calling Jay’s, they answered the phone right away and the lady on the line was very polite asked which route she was on and within seconds was able to tell me the exact location of the bus, which happened to be pulling up to my corner less than a minute later. I assumed they were only able to know because they had GSP tracking on the busses. I was very grateful for the quick response. Especially after hearing such horror stories.

    I’m sorry you had to go through that I can imagine it being a frightening experience!

  7. Thats so scary for such little kids. Why did the bus company tell the school they cant contact the driver? Of course they could! In the end that’s how they found the bus.

  8. The bus driver is crazy. He should be fired. My nephew once had a driver who just played games while he was driving, and risked crashing every second. As a child, I had a bus driver who got stuck in snow every winter. If you see something, say something

  9. All bus drivers have radios in their buses and yes the office can contact them! The driver should have called their office and said they were lost.

  10. Of course we tried calling the bus company. They had a power outage and their phone system was down. The police were contacted as well. One parent drove up and down the streets in town trying to locate the bus. I personally stopped another bus from the same company and tried to get them to radio their dispatcher. That driver told me that he had no way to contact them because power was down.

    My son told me that the driver was playing candy crush in his phone. The kids all needed to go to the bathroom too. They were all shaken up. It was completely unacceptable and should never have happened. The school sends home the younger boys with labels every Sunday. The driver could have easily contacted any parent.

  11. As a parent i cringe that we don’t have bus monitors on every bus. Each and every bus transporting elementary school children should be required to have a bus monitor. 8th graders are very capable but not in a crisis. This crisis would have been avoided.

  12. I was one of the parents. I did try to call the bus company many times and would get the voicemail over and over in addition I would call the school every 5 minutes, but there was no update. They told me that they couldn’t reach the bus company. I was shocked they didn’t have the drivers number. It was truely a horrible experience, the kids were all under 8 so they couldn’t say or do anything. Some kids were crying. On the bus from 1:40 to 4:15 then we picked him up off Countyline Rd!
    BH they were ok.

  13. Every bus driver must feel like child who get on their bus and take responsiblity of child safety and make them obey the rules. They should take responsible of each child getting them to school and home accordingly the right time. I hope this driver is fired. I hope every parents agree my wording is correct.

  14. my child just started primary. our official stop is 32 min into route. one day the bus arrived 25 min early we wernt home and no car was in driveway and the driver let a 5 yr old off!!!!!!

  15. Ive had an idea for awhile but i have no tech experience. What if someone creates an app that you can put in your childs bus company and route number and see the exact location of the bus. This would be helpful in the mornings, to know when to go wait outside, especially in the freezing cold or rain, but more importantly when you’re waiting for your child yo come home, you can see exactly where his bus is. Obviously this would be tons of work, especially getting all the bus companies in on it, but i think its well worth it

  16. I’m just curious what the driver was planning to do. Wait until when? At some point he had to make his next move. ..and so what may have been his next move. That’s really the question that needs to be asked.

  17. I will sum this up the best that I can because it’s all out of control.
    We need to start holding people accountable for their actions.
    Enough is enough so if you want to drive a bus or become a school teacher, a mayor or a police officer, a public figure and even a crooked federal judge. Then you will sign a document stating any wrong doing and you will be prosecuted by Federal Law to the fullest, and you will do jail time. Also you will never teach, run for governor or for public office…etc.. ever again….Period.
    Then lets see how people react o this?????

  18. The school lied. The bus company can always get in touch with the bus driver. Also where were all the other parents of these kid’s? Where they calling also? ThI’d whole bussing situation is ridiculous!

  19. I am NOT sticking up for the driver in any way. This is a horrible thing that happened and we have to learn from this incident. Based on some comments/the article it seems that the power was out at the bus company and that the driver didn’t know the route so he stopped until he can get in touch with the company (waiting for their power to come back on). Drivers must be given maps with clear instructions of all stops, they can not expect the kids/the bus company to guide them. It would also be helpful if the drivers had a gps so in case they get lost they can enter the next address on the list and find their way. We CANNOT accept this behavior from bus drivers (even though there is a major shortage in this town)

  20. We were driving out of Raintree two weeks ago, when a bus was stopped on the right side of the road – no lights on. Thankful we ALWAYS drive slow through our development. A child, let out of the bus, crossed the street in front of the bus and our car as we were about to pass. The bus driver yelled something at us, and my husband said “you didn’t have any lights on and no stop sign.” He thanked us. I wish we took his license plate and bus No. down. Seemed like he wasn’t “all there.” Feeling guilty for letting that go. Didn’t know what to do at the time. Not next time. Do they test these people???

  21. Don’t most bus drivers carry around smart phones with Google maps or ways? How hard is it to make sure every driver has one?
    With a list of stops almost no way to get lost. You can also ask kids for their address in worst case scenario described above !! Really weird story!!

  22. to Lakewood resident
    No not every driver has a traife phone with gps
    and you would be suprised how many children only know that they live in lakewood or some know that they live down the block but not what block.

    To. raintree
    Have you never forgot to turn on your headlights?

    To. Me I know my brother installes systems in Brooklyn that call the parents 2 or 3 min before the bus arrives ho ever they set it

    To. annon we all wish there were monitors on the bus but no one wants to pay for it. will you?

  23. Truly frightening.
    However on the topic of bussing, I wish the wonderful people of Lakewood would appreciate that they have bussing altogether. There are many towns, mine included, where we all have to take our kids to school. Thousands of parents who are working/learning and have really hectic schedules and yet the thousands of kids in our community have to be driven to school ourselves, and what a tremendous tircha it is. Especially since different ages have to be driven at different times. Instead of complaining about how terrible your bussing is, just appreciate your blessings. If you would have the attitude that everything is not coming to you, there wouldn’t be so much grumbling going on about the issues with the bussing.

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