Pennsylvania boy with Down syndrome left on school bus, hitchhikes home

Posted at 2:06 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 16:10:35-04

LANCASTER COUNTY, PA (WGAL) – A Pennsylvania school bus driver has been fired after a Lancaster County elementary student fell asleep and was left on the bus.

The parents of the 11-year-old Evan Clifford, who has Down syndrome, said he fell asleep Monday on the way to Quarryville Elementary School

Officials with Eshbach Busing said the bus driver, the school-appointed bus aide and school personnel didn’t see Evan. The driver went home and parked the bus with the boy still inside.

“I can’t imagine how you cannot check and can just miss a child,” said Evan’s mother, Dana Clifford.

Dana said her son woke up and didn’t know where he was and then tried to hitchhike home. Two women saw Evan trying to hitchhike and asked him if he needed help. He knew his mom’s cell phone number and told the women.

A spokesperson for the school district provided this statement:

“The District contracts with a bus company to provide transportation for our students. There are checks that all bus drivers are required to complete at the end of their runs that did not happen in this case. District Officials have met with the parents and are working with the transportation contractor to address this personnel matter. The safety of all students is a top priority.”