Distressed toddler wets herself after being left on school bus for 5 hours

A three-year-old girl who was left on a school bus for five hours was distressed and had wet herself when she was found.

Little Mali Jones had fallen asleep on the vehicle and slipped between the seats on the way to her school in Bridgend, Wales.

Coach company Davey’s Travel said it was "horrified" the incident had happened and that the driver had been left "devastated".

The toddler was discovered by cleaners at the bus company’s depot.

She had been travelling to her nursery class at Ogmore Vale Primary School when she fell asleep, Wales Online reports.

Mali’s mother Amy Gibson, 27, said: "She had wet herself and she called for the cleaners when they got on the bus.

"Fortunately she turned out to be ok."

She said the toddler was left in tears by the incident.

"I was really upset," she said.

"When she saw me she was crying and said she had been left on the bus and we’ve had trouble with her ever since."

Ms Gibson, who was in work at the time, was reportedly unable to check her phone until 4pm due to her employer’s policy.

She recalled: "I had received a text at 11am and the school had informed me that my child wasn’t in school but there was no attempt to contact my partner.

"When I found out I called the police and they said the local authority had been informed.

"I spoke to school, the bus company and the council’s transport department. I wrote a lot of questions for them to answer but I’ve had no feedback whatsoever. I am really not happy at all with the response."

A spokesperson for Davey Travel said that they have bought a new coach with CCTV and now have three escorts on board.

The spokesperson said: "The child was back on the bus again that afternoon and the following day and has been back on it every since. We had two escorts on the bus.

"We were horrified that this happened and the driver was devastated.

"We have bought a new coach with CCTV cameras and we now have three escorts on the vehicle and they now walk the vehicle to make sure every single seat is checked.

"The child had fallen between the seats and she was with her sister, it’s still not an excuse and we’re not trying to put the blame on anyone. It happened and we have put things in place to make sure this will never happen again.

"That child was never in danger. The coach was locked so she couldn’t have got off and she was found by the cleaner. We got her in, fed and watered her and got her back to the school."

They added: "The child had fallen between the seats and she was with her sister, it’s still not an excuse and we’re not trying to put the blame on anyone. It happened and we have put things in place to make sure this will never happen again.

"That child was never in danger. The coach was locked so she couldn’t have got off and she was found by the cleaner. We got her in, fed and watered her and got her back to the school."

A spokesperson from Bridgend council said: "On November 22, 2018, a school transport provider informed Bridgend County Borough Council and Ogmore Vale Primary School that a nursery-age child had been discovered asleep on the school bus following the morning drop-off.

"The child was immediately brought back to school and the parents were informed.

"On November 23, the school met with the parents of the child to offer apologies and agree new procedures for future journeys, such as ensuring the child is sitting alongside older siblings who use the service. The parents were also contacted by a council officer who enquired about the wellbeing of the child.

"An investigation revealed that the driver had not adequately carried out a mandatory check of the vehicle once the school run was over, and had made the error as the sleeping child had not been clearly visible in their seat.

"The provider has undertaken swift remedial action and has put procedures in place to prevent this from reoccurring, and the council has reissued guidance to remind all school transport providers of the importance of ensuring that checks are carried out in full compliance with council advice.

"The council and the school will be happy to receive any further questions that the parents may have."

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