Driver Who Left Child on Bus Won't Be Charged

6:11 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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The Jones County Sheriff's office has concluded its investigation into an incident on Tuesday where a special-needs child was left on a school bus for several hours.

Aaron Cook, a 10-year-old Macon boy who attends Dames Ferry elementary school in Jones County, was on his school bus from 6:30 am until around 1 pm Tuesday.

Marlene Porter, Aaron's mother, said school district officials brought Aaron home at around 3:45 p.m., and told her the driver didn't check that her bus was empty before driving the bus home for the morning.

Captain Earl Humphries said his department reviewed the school bus tape, and spoke to all parties involved, before deciding to close the case.

"The main thing is intent," Humphries said. "Was there criminal intent to cause a child harm, or was it an honest mistake that was made? We've determined that it was an honest mistake. It should not have been made, but we don't find any criminal intent from anybody involved. It was just an unfortunate incident involving a child, and we're thankful that the child is safe now."

A statement from Sheriff Butch Reece also said they found no "criminal intent or reckless conduct."

Aaron Cook has severe autism and ADHD. Porter said Tuesday night she worried about him because he bangs his head when he gets upset. She would not comment Thursday afternoon, but instead directed 13WMAZ to the Childers & McCain law firm in Macon.

Earlier on Thursday, School Supt. William Matthews said that the driver was not on the job again that day and her status was still up in the air while the district investigates.

He could not be reached for comment later Thursday. The driver's name has not been released.







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