Autistic boy, 7, left in Mass. school van while driver slept, report says

A Massachusetts mother is outraged after her 7-year-old special needs son was left on a school van, seen above, while the driver slept for nearly 4 hours.
CBS Boston

(CBS) BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - A mother is outraged after her special needs son was reportedly left in a school van while the driver slept, CBS Boston reports.

Aiden Sanchez, 7, who is autistic and has cerebral palsy, is picked up by the driver each morning and taken to Mitchell Elementary School in Bridgewater, Mass. But for some reason, on Dec. 5, 2012, the driver drove the van to his home in Brockton, claiming he forgot the boy was in his car, and fell asleep in the driveway for almost four hours, the station reports.

According to police, who were contacted by Aiden's mother Victoria Sanchez, the driver said "he forgot he did not drop Aiden off and doesn't know why he drove to his house." A police report goes on to say the driver parked the van in the driveway, went into his house to get his checkbook and some bills and went back to the van. He wrote out some checks and then fell asleep and took a nap while the boy sat in the seat behind him, police say.

According to CBS Boston, Sanchez says her son is nonverbal and can't communicate what happened. "He's not mute, he makes noises, so in that whole twenty minutes or half hour [he was driving to his home] you mean to tell me he didn't hear my son once," she said.

Sanchez is also not convinced of what happened during the four hours Aiden was with the driver. "How do you come to terms with what potentially could have happened to your son in the four hours he was missing. I will never find out what happened and it will haunt me forever," Sanchez told the station.

The driver reportedly told police he finally woke up and drove Aiden to school by noontime, though the school never informed the family that Aiden had been missing, according to the station.

Sanchez wanted to press charges against the driver but was told there's no crime.

The Lucini Bus Company of Bridgewater says it fired the driver, though they called it a "mistake" and say he passed drug and alcohol tests that day. The company says it's the first time anything like this has happened, and the driver had a good record, CBS Boston reports.