Mansfield bus driver rescues child wandering in bitter cold without shoes, coat

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RICHLAND COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) -- A quick-thinking and caring school bus driver saved a little boy who was wandering outside in bitterly cold temperatures and snow, wearing no shoes or a coat.

Madison Local Schools bus driver Jenny Jones was just starting her second route Wednesday morning around 8:15 a.m. when she spotted the child on Michigan Ave in Mansfield.

“It was my fourth stop and all a sudden there was a little boy. Ran by me and I’m like, 'that’s just not right,'” said Jenny who is also a mom, “He didn’t have any shoes on, he had on a short-sleeve shirt and it was in the 20s without the windchill.”

Immediately Jenny pulled over to help, while another driver in a car also stopped and dialed 911.

Jenny says, the 8-year-old, who has autism, seemed confused and was shivering so she brought him onto the bus and wrapped him in a blanket.

“I can still picture his little face just shaking,” said Jenny.

Deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department responded with EMS and then transported the child to OhioHealth Hospital in Mansfield.

Nurses joined law enforcement in making calls and trying to identify the boy who was non-verbal at the time.

But according to investigators when they finally identified the child and contacted his mother she told them her son was “sleeping in his room.”

After a second phone call, she checked the room and said, “Oh my God he is gone,” and she went to tell them that she has “bells on his door so she would be alerted if he left his room.”

It’s unclear what exactly went wrong, but Child Protective Services were called and deputies issued a summons for “Endangering Children.”

Jenny was just happy to hear that the little boy was going to be okay.

“I was just worried he had frostbite or something worse,” said Jenny.

However, she doesn’t feel like she did anything special and says she just did what any of the other Madison Schools bus drivers would’ve done in that situation.

Transportation Supervisor Mike Yost said, “They always look for things that are happening and look around but she does that quite well, I’m very proud of her yes.”

So is Superintendent John Thomas who said, “It was a good move and it was quick and probably saved that child, they don’t aways get recognized very much, and I’m very proud to be a part of this group of drivers. They’re outstanding people.”

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