8-year-old Detroit girl safe after being left on school bus
DETROIT (WJBK) - "On a [scary] scale of one to 10, I'd give it a 10."
Destinee Wilson, 8, got the scare of her life after being left on a bus Wednesday morning. She had fallen asleep while on the way to Detroit Edison Public School Academy and woke up elsewhere.
"It's like in this parking lot and (there) was many buses and I was the only one in there and the bus person, she was pulling off," Destinee said.
The bus driver for Apollo Transportation failed to do a walkthrough of the bus after dropping the kids off at the school and after returning it to this lot. Destinee was all alone.
She walked to the Citgo gas station next door at Six Mile and John R, frightened, cold and crying.
"The first thing I thought was is, somebody trying to grab her or something," said Nasser Ahmed. "I did not know she was left behind on the bus."
Ahmed went from gas station manager to babysitter, offering Destinee snacks while she warmed up behind the counter next to a space heater.
"We called her mom and her mother didn't know anything," Ahmed said. "She was like, 'What the hell is she doing on Six Mile and John R?'"
"As far as I know, my daughter is safe at school until I go on break at 11 and I have 11 missed phone calls," said Salonia Wilson.
"I called the school because I noticed I had two missed phone calls from them," she said. "And that's when they told me my daughter had just got there. I'm like wait a minute, what happened?"
It turns out a longtime customer of the Citgo gas station, albeit a stranger to the Wilsons, ended up driving Destinee to school after she spent nearly two hours at the gas station in limbo.
"The reason I went in the car with her is, I thought she was nice and caring," Destinee said.
That appears to have actually been the case, even though it's the last thing a parent wants to hear.
"It was very nerve-racking," Wilson said. "I have conversations with my kids all the time - you don't get in the car with strangers. If you don't know them, you don't go with them. period.
"It's a blessing to me this lady was honest and trustworthy to get my daughter to school safely. Not only did she get her there safely, she told them what happened, she wrote out a statement. So I thank her from the bottom of my heart."
Now Wilson drove from her job in West Bloomfield to Detroit the minute she saw those missed calls. She plans on meeting the woman that drove her daughter to school sometime this weekend.
An employee from Apollo Transportation says the school is looking into what happened and they are cooperating with the investigation.
The school is not commenting on what happened.
Wilson said that another parent said it has happened before and a 4-year-old was left on a bus recently.