GRANDVIEW, Mo. — A driver is off the job and an investigation is underway in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District.
The question is: How did a pre-schooler with autism end up in a contracted driver’s home garage?
The 3-year-old boy is non-verbal, so John’s mother is having to take an unusual story from those involved at their word.
All Aisha Reed knows for sure is John spent 6 hours — she thought he was at Pre-K — in a garage at a Grandview home inside a vehicle.
“He was in the car for all those hours, he’s probably looking like, ‘Where’s my mom at?'” Reed said. “Nobody came to help him or nothing.”
John rides to Ervin Early Learning Center with one other student in a car driven by an alternative student transportation company contracted by Hickman Mills called EverDriven. But for some reason, John never made it into pre-school Thursday.
“This is like a daily routine for you. You do this every single morning,” Reed said. “I’m just not understanding how something like this happened.”
She got a call from the transportation company after 3 p.m. that afternoon that John had been found in the driver’s garage.
She questions why she never heard from the school he was missing, why police weren’t involved and whether he was checked out medically.
Since then, she’s been on a slow-moving quest for answers.
“I shouldn’t have to go to the school and then people hear me crying and stuff and now people want to feel bad,” Reed said.
“No, put yourself in my shoes. Don’t try to help because you hear me crying and stuff. Help because it’s a child. My son can’t tell anyone if he’s in pain or nothing or if anything happened to him.”
EverDriven released the following statement to FOX4:
“We were devastated to hear the news of this incident, and our hearts go out to the family. We’ve been in contact with them since we were made aware of what took place. The safety of the students we serve is our first and highest priority. EverDriven has clear safety and operational standards in place and what happened goes directly against those standards and operational protocol, therefore the driver is no longer working with us. We are also conducting a thorough internal review of the situation, as well as cooperating with authorities with their ongoing investigation,” EverDriven said Monday.
“We are reviewing the situation at this time,” Hickman Mills C-1 Communications Director Justin Robinson said when asked about the incident.
“They are telling me today they are going to look at the footage,” Reed said. “You guys should have been doing this. You would think people would be working late overtime trying to make changes so this never happened again.”
FOX4 contacted Grandview police about the status of any possible investigation into the matter on Monday night, the department confirming on Tuesday that they are looking into it.