Video Shows Hero Bus Drivers Rescuing Toddler After Wild Carjacking
A sudden carjacking shocks parents.
Two school bus drivers in Kentwood, Michigan, helped return a two-year-old boy to his family after he was left on a roadside following a carjacking. Now they're being hailed as heroes. Read on to find out how the incredible events transpired, and what the family had to say about their young son's safe return.
According to local police, around 8 a.m. on Oct. 4, two parents were standing feet away from their car, waiting with one of their children to put them on a school bus. Suddenly, someone jumped in the family car and sped off with a younger child in the back seat. MLive reported that the carjacker apparently didn't realize the child was there. After he was discovered, the thief left the boy on the side of a road with a blanket. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.
Bus driver Dave Skinner was driving on 48th Street when he saw people frantically waving their arms for someone to stop. Skinner pulled over to the curb.
Video shows the frantic couple trying to tell Skinner what happened. He called 911 and radioed his boss about what was going on. "When you get close enough you can see the look in mom and dad's eyes. You knew something was wrong," Skinner told WXMI.
Soon after, a second bus driver, Sue Figueroa, pulled up to Skinner's bus. When she learned they were looking for a missing boy, she told them she just passed a boy wrapped in a blanket by the side of the road, MLive reported. She wasn't sure if there was an adult nearby. Figueroa then turned her bus around and retrieved the boy—which was also caught on camera—ultimately reuniting him with the grateful parents. All told, he was gone for about ten minutes. The parents told Fox 17 they felt "immense relief" that their son was quickly returned.
Jim Alston, superintendent of Kelloggsville Public Schools, told NBC News the bus employees "all did a great job getting this two-year-old back with his parents."
"It was probably the longest four to six minutes (of the mom's) life," said Kristin Nickelson, the school district's transportation director. "This could have been worse. … That mom was so scared, and I just can't imagine what it would have been like not knowing where your baby was."
"They are heroes," said Nickelson about the two bus drivers. "They deserve all the credit." "I don't know if we're heroes," Skinner later told Today.com. "Drivers are very attentive to all the kids in the neighborhoods while we're picking them up. And if they see something odd or strange, they're real quick to get on the radio and holler back." "I'm just glad her kid is home safe," he added. "Cars are replaceable. But I'm glad her child's home. It was a good day and a good outcome." Kentwood police said the stolen vehicle was later located in nearby Grand Rapids, although a suspect has not been arrested. They believe the attack was random.
TMX contributed to this story.