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Five-year-old special education girl left on icy bus as driver and matron sat in diner

A 5-year-old special education pupil was left alone on a bus for an hour in freezing temperatures in Brooklyn Monday while the bus driver and matron went for breakfast, officials said.

The plight of kindergartner Iman Mirza, a student at Public School 255 in Homecrest, drew the attention of driver Phillip Vallone's wife, who alerted him, according to the girl's father.

Junaid Mirza, 40, said his daughter, who is developmentally delayed, came down with a fever after the "nightmare" incident. "That was enough to give me a heart attack," he said.

Vallone, 78, of Staten Island, and bus matron Madelyne Shedd, 66, were arrested Monday and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The pair appear to have dropped off other children at the school, but somehow missed the little girl.

Vallone notified the school by phone of the blunder about 9:10 a.m. - an hour after Iman was first abandoned, Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg confirmed.

Vallone and Shedd did not arrive at the school with Iman until 20 minutes later, according to Feinberg.

An FDNY ambulance responded to the school about 9:40 a.m., but Iman's father, at that point with his little girl, refused medical attention, an FDNY spokesman said.

"She was crying nonstop," the father said.

"We immediately suspended the driver and matron and are investigating the incident," Feinberg said.


With Rocco Parascandola and Meredith Kolodner


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Posted in: News by SoulRiser on January 14, 2010 @ 11:40 PM

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