4-year-old child left on daycare bus after it gets a flat tire in Tampa

Daycare fires workers who left child in van
Posted at 3:44 PM, Jan 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 23:28:46-05

A 4-year-old girl was left behind in a daycare van after a flat tire caused everyone else to switch vehicles.

Friday morning, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received a call saying a little girl had walked into the School District of Hillsborough County Transportation building looking lost.

There was a white van belonging to the Orient Road Child Development Center parked in front of the business with the door opened and a flat tire.

Erica Donaldson, the assistant director, confirmed the child was from their daycare, and must have been left behind when the vehicle broke down and the children were transferred to another bus earlier that morning.

There were four children total, three in car seats plus the 4-year-old child who had fallen asleep in the back seat. 

The driver of the vehicle and an adult passenger say they waited about 30 minutes for a replacement van to arrive, then moved the infants over to the new van without realizing the little girl was left behind.

The toddler's father said his child will not attend that daycare anymore.

"So you leave a child, a 4 year old, in the back of the bus (a)sleep on a broke down bus and then y'all don't' realize she's gone at all until the child is wandering…walking and some man takes her in some building that don't make any sense," William Wilkins said.

Wilkins said his daughter cried about the incident, but is okay now.

ABC Action News tried to speak with someone from the center. A woman, who said she was with the center, told us the employees who were involved in this incident were terminated. She also said their van services have been suspended until they hire someone.

"It's unsatisfying and very disturbing," the woman with the center said.

No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation is ongoing.


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