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Two little girls 'missing' during bus safety week

In spite of precautions parents and school bus drivers took, two little girls went 'missing' after school right in the middle of National Bus Safety Week.

"That sends parents into a panic, as well it should," said Sgt. John Chumley.

Both incidents happened on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Sunnyside police received a call at 3:41 p.m. from a 5-year-old girl's mother, reporting that her daughter didn't get off the school bus as she should have.

Officer Chumley was dispatched at 3:44 p.m. and was knocking on the mother's door four minutes later.

A thankful mother was already on the phone with school personnel, who called to tell her the youngster had simply missed her stop and was waiting for her at the bus garage.

"The mom advised me that she did not have a way down to the bus garage. I assisted by giving the lost one a ride home," Chumley reported.

The second little girl, a 6-year-old student at Pioneer School, also should have stepped off a school bus that afternoon, and, when she didn't, another search was on. It turned out that she walked across the street from the bus stop, which was in the neighborhood of a former baby-sitter. Her dad was the first one to locate her.

The two incidents pointed up what David Taylor, Sunnyside school bus director, was focusing on at an in-service workshop for his bus drivers Oct. 14, in preparation for National School Bus Safety Week Oct. 17-21.

At the time, Taylor noted that cooperation between parents, schools, bus drivers and the police were keys to finding kids quickly. Wednesday's retrievals were proof of that.

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