WESTLAND, Mich. – A child went missing Thursday and nobody knew where she was until she woke up in a deserted bus yard.
The 10-year-old girl rode the bus to school in the Wayne-Westland district, but fell asleep on the way. Now her mother is angry with the way administrators handled the situation.
Young children don't know the ins and outs of school transportation, such as how to open a school bus door. Jayda Ray said she was shocked and scared to find herself locked inside a school bus with nobody around to talk to and no way to let herself out.
"I was terrified," Jayda said.
She said she didn't get much sleep Wednesday night and thought she was going to Adams Upper Elementary School. Instead, she awoke to find herself at the Wayne-Westland bus depot about a mile and a half away.
"I was trying to bang on windows screaming for help," Jayda said. "(Nobody heard me) for awhile, but then one lady heard me and then she got me out and into the office."
She said the bus was hot and stuffy, and there was a sign posted on the back that had declared the bus empty.
"I am furious," Jayda's mother, Andrea Ray, said.
Ray wasn't happy when she heard the driver didn't notice Jayda before leaving the bus, or that the school didn't notify her about her daughter's absence, or that her daughter spent at least an hour trying to get someone's attention.
"Wayne-Westland needs to get this under wraps, so then if she was missing, they could have called me and I'd tell them I put her on the bus myself," Ray said.
She's even more frustrated that the bus yard management didn't call her to say they had her daughter. It was a lower-level employee who made the call.
"She took it upon herself to let me know what was going on," Ray said. "The other ones weren't going to call me."
Ray brought Jayda to the hospital. She was found to be OK.
"I want them to get on their game, and I want that bus driver fired," Ray said.
Jayda said she learned a valuable lesson.
"Don't fall asleep on the bus," Jayda said.
Wayne-Westland schools said they're investigating the incident. They said they have the option of putting a driver on administrative leave for such a case as not checking for a child before leaving the bus.
The district isn't saying what happened to the driver in the case.