The grandmother of an autistic seventh grade Chicago Public School student reportedly left alone on a school bus for three hours is considering filing a lawsuit after saying that she has been waiting for answers from CPS or the bus company about the incident for too long.
Ruthel Crosby, of the 8400 block of S. Halsted, said in a statement that her grandson, Travis, attends Ashburn Community Elementary School at 8300 S. St. Louis Avenue but did not arrive at school after she put him on the bus at 7:40 a.m. on Oct. 5. After the surrounding neighborhood was searched for the boy, he was found sitting on a locked school bus in the bus yard in 80-plus degree weather around 10:45 a.m.
After being checked out by the school nurse, the boy was found to be dehydrated and disoriented, Crosby said in a statement.
Crosby, who is the boy's custodial guardian, told CBS Chicago she fears Tyler could have died had he not been found when he was.
"He might have drifted off into a sleep. You know, I mean, you don’t do an animal like that!" Crosby told CBS.
The company operating the bus in question, White Transportation, has not commented publicly on the incident, but a CPS spokesperson told CBS that the bus aide and driver on that route have been suspended. Further, the company has been fined $5,000 and their training procedures are currently under review.
Nevertheless, Crosby has said she is seeking legal counsel and a lawsuit is possible.
A similar incident occurred in Chicago's south suburbs in August, when a Country Club Hills student born with Down syndrome went missing for several hours and was found sleeping in a bus at a Alpha School Bus Company terminal in Crestwood, ABC Chicago reported. The bus driver involved in that incident was terminated.