BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – A Bridgewater mother is outraged her special needs son was left on a van while the driver slept.
Aiden Sanchez, seven years old, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy is picked up by the driver each morning and taken to Mitchell Elementary School. But for some reason the driver drove the van to his home in Brockton, claiming he forgot the boy, then fell asleep in the driveway for almost four hours with the boy in the seat behind him.
According to police, who were contacted by Aiden’s mother Victoria Sanchez, the driver “stated that he forgot he did not drop Aiden off and doesn’t know why he drove to his house.” A police report goes on to say the driver parked the van in the driveway, went into his house got his checkbook and some bills and went back to the van. He wrote out some checks and then fell asleep and took a nap.
Sanchez says Aiden is nonverbal and can’t communicate what happened. “He’s not mute, he makes noises, so in that whole twenty minutes or half hour (he was driving to his home) you mean to tell me he didn’t hear my son once,” she said.
She’s also not convinced of what happened during the four hours Aiden was with the driver. “How do you come to terms with what potentially could have happened to your son in the four hours he was missing. I will never find out what happened and it will haunt me forever.”
The driver told police he finally woke up and drove Aiden to school by noontime, though the school never informed the family that Aiden had been missing. Sanchez wanted to press charges against the driver but was told there’s no crime. “The most alarming thing is it’s not illegal, what this driver did is not illegal,” she said.
Lucini Bus Company of Bridgewater says it fired the driver, though they called it a “mistake” and say he passed drug and alcohol tests that day. The company says it’s the first time anything like this has happened, and the driver had a good record. Victoria Sanchez wants more accountability not only from the driver, but from the elementary school hoping it will beef up its safety protocols. “Imagine if your child was taken without your permission,” she said.