5-year-old gets on wrong bus, ends up miles from home

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A young Chicago student ended up on a playground a long way from home after he got on the wrong bus. (WLS)

A young Chicago student ended up on a playground a long way from home. His journey began when he was put on the wrong bus after school at 7100 South Coles. He ended up on a school playground at 81st and Kenwood.

Five-year-old Lewis Johnson's, first week of kindergarten was off to a great start until Thursday.

"The worst day of my life. I thought I wouldn't see my grandson no more," Tonnicia Johnson, his grandmother, said.

Johnson, Lewis' grandma and legal guardian, dropped him off at Black Elementary Thursday morning.
After school, it was his first bus ride home. But he was nowhere to be found.

"For two hours, we were like, 'Where is he?' Frantically calling," she said.

Johnson had a plan. When Lewis got out of school, he would catch the bus, and ride it to his bus stop, three miles away. And standing, right there, waiting for him was his uncle Aaron Johnson.

"I was waiting for an hour and the busses never showed up," his uncle said.

Instead, Lewis ended up at Avalon Park Elementary, five miles from his bus stop. But he wasn't crying. He was at a playground playing.

Jasmine Harris-Perez was at the playground with her daughter. She noticed Lewis was by himself for more than an hour, so she approached him.

"He said the bus driver dropped him off and left and I'm like 'Wow, he didn't say anything?' He was like, 'no,'" Harris-Perez said.

And then, she started asking questions.

"I was like, do you know your granny's number? He was like, 'I think so.' So I called his grandmother. She was crying hysterically," she said.

Lewis' uncle rushed to pick him up and Friday, after school, Lewis was back under his uncle's watchful eye. He was playful, like any other kid and unaware of what worried his grandma.

"Just think about what could have happened to him. The stranger wasn't a pervert. I thank God he was found," Johnson said.

A spokesman for Chicago Public Schools told ABC 7 they are checking into what happened and want to make sure this error doesn't happen in the future. They also said the schools and the drivers all have a roster to make sure that the right children are on the right school bus.

In the meantime, Lewis' grandmother is so concerned about him getting to and from school safely, that she's thinking about quitting her job.

Related Topics:
school busChicago - Avalon Park
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