BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It’s a parent’s biggest fear: their child left on a bus or daycare van alone.
A Birmingham mother says it happened to her son.
Erica Zeigler says it was two hours.
The daycare where her son attended, Mt. Olive Monumental Baptist Church, says it was more like an hour and twenty minutes.
Still, they say there is no excuse for what happened.
Five-year-old Elijah Burpo was picked up by the daycare van every day after school.
On Thursday, he fell asleep while the van was making two other pickups after his.
The day care director, Beatrix McCoy, says somehow, when the van got to the school, Elijah was marked as being there when in reality he was asleep on the van.
McCoy says the van driver was supposed to check the van to make sure all students were off, but that didn't happen.
Zeigler says it wasn’t until she got to the day care to pick up her son that staff members even realized he was still on the van.
"This could have been anybody's child. This could have been a very dangerous outcome. And emotionally, I know my child will be affected by this. So I want my story heard. I want people to be aware of what happened at this daycare,” Zeigler says.
McCoy says the van driver has been fired. She also says that starting Friday, the daycare has put in place other safeguards to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
She apologizes for the situation and says she will reach out to speak to Elijah’s mom, but Zeigler says she has already pulled her son out and he will not be going back.