Phoenix 4-year-old left at wrong bus stop in the heat - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Phoenix 4-year-old left at wrong bus stop in the heat

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12 News 12 News

PHOENIX — The family of a kindergartner said Wednesday they want the bus driver responsible for dropping their 4-year-old off at the wrong stop to face consequences and for the school district to keep this from happening again.

Tuesday after school at Sunridge Elementary, Lexie Diaz was left at the wrong bus stop in the heat.

Lexie’s mother, Patricia Diaz, said she feared the worst.

“I was thinking the absolute worst. ‘Who stole my child? Who has her? Is she safe?’”

Lexie’s aunt, Esther Harms, said she was left waiting at her niece’s stop on West McDowell Road.

“So I messaged my sister. I said, ‘Hey did you pick her up, or my dad, Grandma?’ She said, ‘No. She should be on the bus.’”

“Nobody had her, so we went frantic,” Diaz said.

Drives up and down the neighborhood, questions to staff at Sunridge Elementary School and calls to the Fowler Elementary School District Transportation Department added up to 40 minutes with no answers, but then the call they hoped for came.

“There’s a police officer with her at the apartment complex right now,” Harms remembered hearing over the phone.

Harms said Lexie was, “sweaty, her cheeks were rosy and red.”

Lexie was scared quiet.

“She wasn’t speaking to anybody about what happened,” Diaz said.

Lexie’s mom said her daughter started sharing her story Tuesday night.

“She goes, ‘Yeah, a lady picked me up, saw me crying. She took me into her house and called the cops and she gave me pizza and candy,”’ Diaz said.

Wednesday afternoon, the superintendent of the Fowler Elementary School District, Dr. Marvene Lobato, confirmed to 12 News over the phone that the bus driver left Lexie Diaz at the wrong location.

“It was a horrible mistake. We can’t take it back, but we’re doing everything we can to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Lobato said.

Lobato said the bus driver who left the 4-year-old at the wrong stop Tuesday would continue working the same route for the remainder of the year, but with a bus aide riding along.

According to the superintendent, the last time a student with the district was left at the wrong stop was a couple years ago when a new student got off the bus at the wrong location.

Fully Story: 12news.com.

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