DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Gavin Davis looks like your typical 10-year-old. He likes school and playing with his sister at the playground across the street from home.
Gavin is autistic, and his family says they do everything they can to keep him calm. But Tuesday, that was a challenge. His father waited for him in front of their Dallas home after school, but Gavin’s bus never arrived. “We cried and cried yesterday just wondering where he was at, and the longer he was gone it was getting worse and worse,” says Gavin’s father, Don Davis.
Davis immediately panicked, but decided to give it some more time. It turns out Gavin was taken to the family’s old address about four miles away from their current home. “I ended up in Amesbury, where I used to live. If I stayed there for all eternity, I was going to freak out,” explains Gavin Davis.
Gavin got out of school from JW Ray Learning Center at 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday. His family says he should have gotten home by 4:15 p.m. About 5:30 p.m., his father says, phone records show he called dispatch with the bus service and even the Dallas Police Department. Davis says he had not heard until 6:22 p.m. from dispatch and that was telling him Gavin was on his way home. Davis goes on to say that Gavin was finally dropped off after 7:00 p.m.
“Once the bus driver noticed no one was home, got on the phone, got on dispatch, told the dispatcher what was happening, she then called the father of the child,” explains Davd Escalante with Dallas County Schools, which provides bus service for Dallas Independent School District.
When asked why it took almost four hours to get Gavin home, Escalante couldn’t directly respond, and said, “That was the story I was told by our service center and dispatcher.” Escalante added that the driver was a substitute, and did everything according to procedure and policy.
The Davis family understands mistakes can be made, but insists no one called them to notify them of what was going on until they made the first call.
Gavin was back on the bus Wednesday, and though he did get dropped off at the right location, his family says they still worry. “For now, it’s like everyday is going to be a coin flip whether he’s getting home safe or not,” says Davis. “Until I can afford a car to get him to and from school, it’s just going to feel like we are in Vegas everyday, see if he makes it home.”
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