Newport News mom: 8-year-old accidentally got off at wrong bus stop, was lost for an hour

Posted at 9:46 PM, Sep 08, 2016

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Seconds can feel like hours when you have no idea where your child is.

"It was the scariest moment of my life," says Aliyah Donovan.

Donovan says her eight-year-old daughter never got off the bus at her stop after her first day of third grade at Hilton Elementary on Tuesday.

It was also her first day attending the school.

She says she knew her daughter was the last stop, so she went right to the transportation office to demand answers.

"It was just, so many thoughts running through my mind," Donovan says.

Donovan says at first, the bus driver was not sure what happened. They thought she might have gotten on another bus, but then they found the eight-year-old's book bag.

Then Donovan's phone rang.

On the other line, was a woman living on Beech Drive, miles away from the Donovan's home. She saw a little girl walking down the street, holding only her glasses, looking lost.

"God brought me outside that day and had us meet," the woman says, who asked News 3 to keep her name anonymous. "I happened to go in the house, and something told me to just go outside."

Donovan's daughter got off at the wrong stop and wandered for an hour. She remembered her mom's cell phone number by heart, and they were able to call her.

"She told me when she saw the lady in the distance, something told her, she said, 'Mommy, they told me. I said, who told you? She said, my angels told me, that lady is OK, she's nice,'" says Donovan. "I am very proud, very proud of my daughter."

Michelle Price, Director of Community Relations for Newport News Public Schools, says the seasoned bus driver that drove the eight-year-old does have a list of students and their stops.

However, she says, after two students got off at a stop near Beech Drive, Donovan's daughter jumped up and insisted it was her stop, and got off.

Donovan says as a parent and educator herself, she wants to know how the school district's department of transportation will prevent it from happening again.

"Had God not been looking out for my daughter that day, with the way this world is, God knows what could have happened," says Donovan. "I don't understand why procedures were overlooked."

Price says they have addressed the issue with the bus driver and are investigating. She says the Assistant Superintendent will be in correspondence with Donovan about the issue.