SHEFFIELD, Ohio — A six-year-old girl was left alone on a day care bus for hours, after being picked up from school. Two people were fired over the incident and face criminal charges as well.
Sheffield Village police say at about 3:00 p.m.on March 23, Leayza Smith’s day care bus picked up her and other children from school, and took them to Mandi’s Playhouse on Abbe Road.
The bus arrived around 3:45 p.m. Three hours later, the girl’s mother, Brianna Crim, came to pick her up.
“They said the school agers were outside, so when I went outside, she wasn’t there and then we all, everybody’s running around looking for her, calling around. No one’s seen her; she hasn’t been here all day,” Crim said.
“As they started to look for her, employees checked the roster, seeing that she was signed in to the day care center as getting off the school bus,” said Sheffield Village detective Aaron Bober.
But Leayza was still on the bus alone.
“One of the kids said she got on the bus; she just never got out and came in the building,” Crim said.
“So they went out to the school bus, found the daughter, the six-year-old girl in urine-soaked pants, crying at the door,” said detective Bober.
Mandi’s Playhouse refused to comment about the incident. But police say the child care center fired both the driver, Philip Jones, and the bus monitor, Adreana Taylor. Both have also been charged with child endangering, a first-degree misdemeanor.
“He did not take it upon himself, neither did the bus monitor to check the school bus seats to make sure nobody was left behind,” Bober said.
Investigators also said this is not the first time Mandi’s Playhouse has been in trouble with the state.
“I believe five times, they were found non-compliant in attendance checking since 2015,” Bober explained.
Brianna Crim says she has used the day care for about a year, without any problem. Now, she’s looking for other child care arrangements.
“She was just crying, saying ‘they left me, they left me,” Crim said.
According to police, many school buses are equipped with notification systems that force the driver to go to the back of the bus to reset it. They say this bus did not have that technology.