Bus driver on leave after dropping Omaha child at wrong stop

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A school bus driver has been placed on administrative leave and Omaha school officials have launched an investigation after a 10-year-old boy with autism was dropped off at the wrong bus stop this week.

Jaden Otis, a 10-year-old with autism, was located. He was shaken but otherwise unharmed.

The incident came to light around 4:40 p.m. when OPS Student Transportation was notified that a child had not been dropped off by his afternoon bus.

School officials determined that Jaden had been mistakenly dropped off at a home where the family used to live. The driver, along with three other bus drivers, went back to the area to search for the child. Several OPS employees, including transportation staff, the building principal and other administrators joined the search.

Around 5:30, the family notified police that Jaden was missing. Law enforcement joined the hunt.

With pictures of Jaden circulating through the media, a man noticed Jaden walking outside and made the connection to pictures filling local media screens. Officer Phil Anson said he, “saw the story on the news,” and stayed with Jaden until police arrived.

Officer Anson said, "The boy's fine. He was crying. He was scared but the gentleman was able to call Omaha Police right away.”

OPS says the substitute driver involved would not have necessarily been familiar with the regular route and the district is currently investigating how the driver might have received outdated information.

According to an OPS statement, "We are working directly with the family to ensure their concerns are addressed and to keep them updated on the progress of the investigation, as well as corrective action steps to prevent the situation from happening again."

OPS expects its inquiry to continue into next week.