PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - It's a phone call a parent never wants to get. A Northeast Philadelphia mom says her son was left on a school van.
"You would hear it on the news and I never thought it would happen to me," said Maritza Perez. She says she got a call from her son's school this morning that almost made her heart stop.
"I was hysterical. I started crying." She says staff told her that they got a call from the transportation company that takes 5-year-old Geiner to school every day saying he was left on the van after the other kids had gotten off.
"They told me he was fine and my only concern was he has asthma and he woke up by himself. He has ADHD and ODD which is occupational defiant disorder," she said.
The van picked him up at 8:15 this morning. Almost three hours later Maritza says she got the call from his school Northwestern Human Service at Lehigh and B Street. She says shortly after the transportation company Logisticare called her about what happened. In addition to the bus driver there's an aide on the bus to help her son since he has special needs.
"The van aide didn't do the second check to make sure all the kids were off the bus they found him sleeping. But he is supposed to be set on a booster seat so I don’t even know how that would even happen." And she says once the van was back at the depot it wasn't the driver who found her son. It was a mechanic.
"He said he woke up crying, scared and sweaty."
Maritza says the company assured her an investigation will be done but she says that's not enough.
"I would like a different van driver and different van aide. I want consequences and discipline," she said.
Staff at the bus depot didn't comment. They said the owner will get back to FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson.
LogistiCare sent this statement to FOX 29:
“We can confirm this situation occurred today and we apologize to Ms. Perez and her son for the issues they experienced. At LogistiCare, every ride matters and we have launched a thorough investigation to learn more about this situation. As a result of the incident, we will personally work with Ms. Perez to ensure her son is safely transported to future appointments.
In addition, we can confirm the transportation provider’s driver and attendant will no longer transport LogistiCare members. Moving forward, we will evaluate this transportation provider’s services and require them to retrain all of their drivers and attendants. We will also conduct in-field monitoring of their services.”
Dick March, GM of LogistiCare Pennsylvania Operations