Thornwood family says paratransit bus left son with autism stranded in West Harrison
A Thornwood family says a paratransit bus refused to take their son with autism to his designated destination and stranded him in a strange place.
The family has relied on paratransit to bring their 20-year-old son to the Carver Center in Portchester three days a week.
This has been the routine since March, with no problems, until this Wednesday. They say instead of dropping their son off at the Carver Center at 400 Westchester Ave. in Portchester, the driver dropped him off at 400 Westchester Ave. in West Harrison.
When the son informed the driver about the mistake, he was told to get out and call another driver.
The mother says her son then called paratransit and sent the paratransit land line a text pleading to provide him with another bus to take him to the center. She adds that he was not in the right place but did not know how to get himself out of that situation.
There was a bus stop very close by to where he was dropped off and he went to the bus stop and got on the very next bus that passed by.
The bus driver of the Bee-line bus he got on noticed his distress and helped him call his parents to arrange a meeting spot and then walked him over to the spot.
The family has been in touch with the paratransit company who informed them that there was a camera on the bus and that they would investigate.
Westchester County released this statement which says, “We are still reviewing what occurred on this particular trip, however no driver should ever order a passenger of paratransit out of a vehicle. The long-standing policy of the Westchester County Office for People with Disabilities is for drivers to call dispatch for guidance and direction. We are committed to providing safe and reliable transportation to disabled members of our community. If there was any error made, we will take steps to ensure it does not happen again.”
Now the family is dealing with the aftermath. Their son does not want to ride the bus anymore and the parents want to ensure that this doesn't happen again.
The family is also trying to get in contact with that Bee-line bus driver who saved the day to say thank him.