Investigation launched after 5-year-old left on parked empty bus after she falls asleep

Published 7:44 am Saturday, March 4, 2023

Mississippi officials have launched an investigation after a five-year-old girl was left on a school bus after falling asleep.

The West Jones Elementary School student reportedly woke up in the bus after it had been parked at the bus barn, made her way through or over a fence at the bus barn and made her way to a nearby business.

The Laurel Leader-Call reports that the incident occurred just after 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 23. A deputy from the Jones County Sheriff’s Office was called to Eastern Fishing and Rental Tools on Moose Drive, the business the girl walked to for help.

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Jones County School District officials say they are investigating the incident. A substitute driver was filling in for the regular driver of the bus route the student uses for transportation. Officials said all regular and substitute drivers are taught to check buses before leaving them at the bus barn. Officials say that apparently did not happen in this case.

A school security picked up the girl at the business and brought her back to the bus barn, where she was picked up by her mother.