A 4-year-old girl was abandoned on a cold school bus in Queens for five hours after a careless matron hopped off without checking the vehicle, cop sources said Thursday.
Little Andrea Rodriguez returned to her Long Island home trembling with fear after her frightening ordeal outside Public School 21 on 26th Ave. in Flushing.
“She said she was scared, she was crying, and nobody heard her,” her mother, Kenia Contraras, told NBC 4.
Contraras added that officials from the private bus company Coky Transportation bought her daughter candy before dropping her off in a bid to buy her silence.
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The monitor who left Andrea behind, identified as Venecia Bisono, 38, was later arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and failure to exercise control of a minor, police sources said.
Her arraignment was pending Thursday night.
The troubling incident was set in motion when the bus picked up Andrea outside her former home on Northern Blvd. in Flushing about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, sources said.
The vehicle arrived at PS 21 at 8:15 a.m., sources said.
After the students emptied out, the matron left the bus without noticing the schoolgirl who had apparently fallen asleep during the ride, sources said.
Andrea remained alone on the bus until 1:15 p.m. when a second driver climbed aboard to bring the children home.
The driver called his boss and was advised to continue on the route and drop her home because she was in good health, sources said.
The girl’s parents only found out what happened when they asked her about her day.
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“I spent the whole day on the bus,” the girl said, according to a source.
“The parents freaked out,” the source added.
The furious mother and father drove to the school and complained to a school safety agent, who called the bus company and the 109th Precinct.
Bisono was called to the school where she was arrested about 10:30 p.m., sources said.
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A mother of three, Bisono landed the job within the last month, her oldest daughter said.
“Why is she arrested for this? It was of course an accident,” said the 20-year-old daughter. “Wouldn’t it be the driver’s fault too? He could’ve gone and seen if someone was on the bus too.”
An Education Department spokesman declined to comment on the incident other than to say that the bus was not contracted by the Education Department.
It’s unusual but not unheard of for a group of parents to pool together to charter private bus service for their children, though it’s not clear if that was the case here.
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A call to Coky Transportation was not immediately returned.
Contraras said the incident has traumatized her daughter who is now afraid to be left alone.
“She can’t sleep,” Contraras said.
It wasn’t the first time the private bus company has found itself in trouble.
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A Coky bus slammed into a 2015 Hyundai at 150-07 Northern Blvd. in Queens on June 2, 2016, according to a lawsuit filed in Queens Supreme Court.
The Hyundai’s driver Chee Hun Cho suffered “severe and permanent personal injuries” in the wreck.
The passenger Boram Choi also suffered injuries, the suit says.
The suit claims Coky Transportation and the driver German Giraldo were “negligent, careless and reckless.”
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