Bus driver mistakenly drops 6-year-old off at abandoned home

Carson VanMeter
Carson VanMeter (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

Stephanie Langston, WKRN – MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A bus driver mistakenly left a first grader miles from home at an abandoned Rutherford County, Tennessee house.

Carson VanMeter, 6, was dropped off at a vacant home about six miles from where he lives Tuesday afternoon. His grandfather used to live at the home he was left at, but has since moved.

His mother, Krystal Morton, told News 2 he was put on the wrong bus at Kittrell Elementary in Murfreesboro.

"They was very apologetic about it," Morton said.

Once left at the vacant house on Cranor Road, the first grader began walking home.

"A very curvy road, dangerous. A bunch of people fly and speed down that road at all times," said Morton.

Morton said her little boy walked for probably 30 minutes, crying and yelling for help when a man stopped and offered him a ride.

"He could have gotten in that truck and I would have never seen my baby again," she said.

Carson jumped in the truck and the stranger drove him home.

"It's a miracle that my son made it home safe and I'm so thankful to the gentleman that brought him home to me," Morton said.

While she is relieved Carson made it home safely, Morton says the ordeal has left her family shaken.

"He was traumatized when he got home. He told me he didn't think he would ever see his mommy and daddy again," she said.

The principal of Kittrell Elementary admits the school made a mistake, but Morton wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"I do not want this to happen to any other child, that could have been anybody, that could have been anybody's baby and luckily my baby was brought home safe," she told News 2.

The Rutherford County school district released a statement regarding the incident that said, "Yesterday afternoon, Kittrell Elementary School mistakenly put a first-grader on the wrong bus based on the transportation information they had on the student from last year. This is an example of an extremely unfortunate miscommunication of where the child was supposed to go after school, and the principal says it was the school's mistake. The principal says they did not realize the transportation destination changed this year because they had not entered all the information from the student's new registration card yet."

The statement continued, "The principal has personally apologized to the mother and assured her the mistaken information has been corrected. The school does not have a history of this type of mistake. The bus driver says she took the child to an address, which is one of the places the child went to last year. She waited and watched until the student began walking up the driveway and then continued on her route. She said the home did not appear to be vacant or abandoned. The student did not indicate he was at the wrong place when the driver dropped him off."