Sep 6, 2013 7:35 PM by Nathan O'Neal

5-year-old disabled student stranded for hours at school

TUCSON - A 5-year-old disabled student was left waiting for two hours after school let out Thursday when a transportation service contracted by TUSD failed to show up on time.

David Gardner is so unsettled over what happened to his son, he no longer trusts Handicar - the transportation service that TUSD has maintained a long-standing contract with.

Gardner said that since school started at Lineweaver Elementary School, he had to use Handicar because a bus route was not available. Each day, the car would pick his son up from home, take him to school and at the end of the day, take him back home.

On Thursday, Gardner said that his son had a doctor's appointment and that he had notified Handicar a couple of days prior. He said he told the transportation service that he did require a ride back home.

Two hours had passed before Gardner found out that his son hadn't made it home - and that was especially concerning considering his emotional disability.

"For a kid like that to be left at school that long, it's very volatile. It shook him up, he came home crying... didn't want to talk to anybody," Gardner said.

When News 4 Tucson showed up at Handicar's offices, the general manager told us they didn't know anything about the incident.

As for TUSD, spokesperson Cara Rene said in a statement that: "When Handicar did not arrive as usual to pick up this student at release time, the school contacted the transportation service and asked them to come to the school. The student waited in the school's office under adult supervision until Handicar arrived to take him home."

Gardner says he's exploring legal options - calling it negligence because his child was so traumatized over it.


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