Substitute Wake bus driver gets lost taking students home
Posted December 10, 2013
Updated December 15, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Frantic parents spent hours trying to find their children after a Wake County school bus went missing Tuesday afternoon.
The bus was carrying students home from Wildwood Forest Elementary School, some of whom didn't get home until almost 7 p.m.
"We looked on the Wake County (Public) School System transportation website, and for the elementary school, they said all the buses were running on time," said Carrie Graham, who had two daughters on the bus. "We didn't know what to think. We thought they could have been taken."
School district spokeswoman Renee McCoy said the bus had a substitute driver, who was given the wrong route information. The driver got lost and wound up taking the students to the district transportation office at West Millbrook Middle School for help, McCoy said.
Graham said the students on the bus immediately knew they were on the wrong route and tried to give the driver directions so they could get home.
"A lot of the kids were, like, 'Hey, what’s going on here?' They ride the red bus, and she was, like, 'No, this is the purple bus,'" Graham said. "She was taking them on an entirely different route."
The driver eventually "got really flustered" and headed back to West Millbrook Middle, she said.
All Wake County school buses are equipped with GPS units to track their locations, but McCoy said the district's website can indicate only whether buses are on time or not.
District officials said they plan to investigate the incident Wednesday.