It should never have happened. This is what the touring coach company Van Gompel is saying after a 4-year-old girl was left alone in the bus on Thursday after a school trip.
“This really can’t happen.” That’s how general manager Gert-Jan Lommerse reacted several times Friday morning.
“No, this was never the intention. I spoke to the driver about this both last night on the phone and this morning in person. He should make sure the bus is checked before it leaves. That’s just protocol.”
But that didn’t happen Thursday afternoon. The children of elementary school ‘t Palet in Eindhoven were going home after a school trip in Uden, but when everyone had been dropped off at school it turned out that someone was missing: 4-year-old Izabella.
“Everyone is at fault here, of course”
Izabella had fallen asleep on the bus. But when this was discovered, the bus was again on its way to Helvoirt to pick up upper school students from the same school at recreation park Duinoord. After some phone calls back and forth, Izabella was picked up in Helvoirt by her mother Antje.
The elementary school suggested taking the child back to the school with that bus, but Antje no longer trusted things and wanted to take her child home herself at all costs. She is still angry that her child was overlooked, including by the school administration. Consequently, Izabella will stay home on Friday.
“When we were contacted by the school that they were missing a child we immediately called the driver. He reported back to us that the girl had been found. In Helvoirt she was taken care of by a teacher before she was picked up,” Lommerse said.
Drivers are instructed by coach companies to always check the bus. “That’s not just an assignment. It is important. So we failed in that, it’s as simple as that. I understand that sometimes things can go wrong, but this is actually too important for that.”
Fortunately, the child is safe and sound, because that is the most important thing, Lommerse states. “No, this doesn’t happen very often. Fortunately, it doesn’t. Then I wouldn’t have a life either. This also drives us crazy. We are not expecting this.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.