SPOKANE, Wash. -Durham Bus Services has had a rough start to the school year. Less, than one week in, Durham had to answer for a bus driver who dropped off a kindergartner at the wrong bus stop. Then, they had to respond to parents' concerns about overcrowding on school buses. On Thursday, they were once again addressing a serious parent concern.
"They were scared, freaked out," said mother Briana Fisher. "They didn't know what was going on."
Fisher is talking about a disturbing situation that happened Tuesday evening. Even re-telling the story, hours later, has her shaking. She said it all started when her 18-year-old son called her at work. He told her, her three youngest children, were not yet home.
"I'm calling the school no answer, I'm calling Durham no answer," she said.
With each passing minute, concern turned to straight panic.
"If I called one more time and they didn't answer, I was calling the police," she said.
Her children, including her two six year olds, were riding the bus from Jefferson to their home near 18th and Ray. A route that normally has them home around 3:45.
"By the time I got home it was 5:20 and they had just gotten off the bus," she said.
Fisher said they were distraught, saying the bus driver kept telling them he was "lost,"
"They were crying, bawling, the two little ones, they were like we were so scared," she said.
Fisher and her husband said they demanded an explanation both that night and the next day, but their response has left the family less than satisfied.
"I called and talked to his supervisor the next morning, he said this wouldn't happen again," Fisher said. "He said he'd call me back, and never did."
That's when the family called Hayley. They said they just wanted confirmation that steps were being taken to prevent this from happening again.
Hayley immediately reached out to Durham officials who did acknowledge the incident.
They said, "I can confirm that on Tuesday, September 18, bus 302 was late dropping off students. Our driver was new to the route and got turned around. We have since retrained the driver to ensure it does not happen again and have spoken with the parents to apologize for the delay."