CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland family lived every parent's worst nightmare Monday when their 6-year-old son didn't get off the bus after school.
The family spent hours searching for him and calling the school, but he was nowhere to be found.
"I honestly thought my son was not coming home," said Brandy McCloud.
Tuesday tears fell down McCloud's face, as she remembered the panic she felt when she found out her little boy, Trevelle, was missing after he didn't get off the school bus.
"For it to be the first day of school, it's already scary sending your kids out into the world, you know, but you never expect to get that call saying your kid did not get off the bus," she said.
"It was the worst feeling of my entire life," she said. "I didn't know if he got snatched. I didn't know if he got lost wandering around."
Trevelle's dad, Trevelle Hargrove, Sr., was also distraught. He said the bus driver told him his son never got on the bus in the first place.
"I was really upset, very, very upset. They lost my son. How do you all lose my son?" he said.
It turns out, Trevelle was on the bus the entire time. The family said they got a call from the bus depot manager hours later, telling them their 6-year-old son was on one of the buses. Workers spotted him because they could hear him honking a horn.
"I fell to the floor, I fell to the floor and I thanked God because I didn't think I would see him again," McCloud said.
Now that they're reunited, the family is relieved, but they still worry that the situation could've ended much worse.
"He could've died. He could've been locked on the bus. What would've happened if when he was honking the horn, no one was there to hear him? He would've been on that bus all night," Hargrove said.
Cleveland 19 News reached out to CMSD. The school district confirmed the incident happened and sent a statement, which reads:
"Drivers are trained to follow strict protocols for inspecting every seat at the beginning and end of their routes, and CMSD has a zero tolerance for any violation of these safety guidelines."
McCloud said school workers told her the bus driver has since been fired.