LOUISVILLE, KY (WTXF) - According to police, errors made by school bus drivers in Louisville, Kentucky led to a 16-year-old student with autism disappearing for ten hours.
Now, school district officials are calling for changes to prevent something like that from happening ever again.
16-year-old Kyle Lien has autism. On Thursday, he was dropped off from the bus nearly eight miles from his home.
He then tried to solve the situation on his own.
“I tried to find my way home from the place they mistaken dropped me,” Kyle said.
Officials from Jefferson County Public Schools confirmed that Kyle got on the wrong bus and went to his previous home even though his information was updated by his mother two weeks before school began.
“I don't know how but it needs to be fix this should never happen again especially with a special needs child,” Risa Dean, Kyle’s mother said.
Police say that they began searching for Kyle just after 5 p.m. when family called 911 to report Kyle missing.
“As our officers responded and made contact with the family they did not believe the 16 year old was in danger for himself but they did start an immediate search of the area,” Col. Kim Kraeszig with Louisville Metro Police said.
However, police say that they received incorrect information.
“The bus driver informed our officers that the 16 year old did ride the bus and what location they dropped the child off at. It was determined that the 16 year old was not even on the original bus that he was on a different bus and different location where he was dropped off,” Kraeszig said.
Officials say that if that mistake was not made, the search for Kyle would have ended much sooner.
“Something went wrong, we are trying to determine what it was. We're grateful that that student is safe and with his family,” Bonnie Hackbarth, a spokesperson for JCPS said.
Just after 8 p.m. officials from both JCPS and LMPD looked over bus camera footage to find out exactly when Kyle went after school.
“Ultimately our video from buses and schools was able to help us understand which bus the student had gotten on and we were able to help police locating him,” Hackbarth said.
“When were able to get updated information on the bus he was actually riding, we were able to find him shortly after that,” Kraeszig said.
Shortly after 1 a.m., Kyle was located. He was at his step-grandparents home.
“It concerns me and it infuriates me at this point. To have an autistic child regardless of age and function. To have him unsupervised form the front door of a school all the way until he gets to the bus stop where I can pick him up. It's unthinkable. it never should have happened,” Dean said.