STATEN ISLAND (PIX11) — A Staten Island mom whose 6-year-old daughter woke up alone on a school bus is suing city officials and the bus company, accusing them of negligence.
Jenna Carlsen’s 6-year-old daughter was supposed to be left at P.S. 39 on May 27, 2022, according to the lawsuit filed in Richmond County Supreme Court on Feb. 13. Instead, she woke up alone on the bus, miles from the school. She got out through a back door, crossed a busy street and asked a stranger for help.
“The child suffered from fear and emotional distress, and was recklessly put in danger of serious physical harm,” the lawsuit alleges. “The child’s mother suffered tremendous distress, fear, pain and suffering when she realized her child did not show up at school and instead was with an unknown stranger.”
That stranger said the girl was scared and crying, according to the lawsuit. The stranger looked in the girl’s backpack to find contact information for a parent.
Carlsen’s suit names New York City, the Department of Education, bus company Island Charter, bus driver Steven LaRocca and bus matron Pranvera Muca. New York City’s Law Department will review the complaint, a spokesperson confirmed Monday.
According to the suit, LaRocca and Muca didn’t check to see if all of the children on the bus got off on the morning of May 27, 2022. The driver then parked the bus at his home, about four miles from the school.
PIX11 has reached out to Island Charter for comment.