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TROUBLE DECKER; Bus sets off with girl, 5, after driver shuts door on her mum.

Byline: RICHARD SMITH

A GIRL of five was whisked off alone on a bus when the driver refused to later her mum on board.

Claire Raddon, 30, was queuing with her four children when daughter Jessica jumped on ahead of her.

As Claire was about to get on the driver told her the vehicle was full.

He then shut the doors and drove off as the frantic mum shouted at him to stop.

The bus continued on its route and Claire was left with an anxious 15-minute wait until she was reunited with her daughter.

She said: "Everyone piled on and the driver shut the doors in my face and drove off, even though I was shouting at him that he had my five-year-old daughter on board and she was on her own. I was hysterical. I had my two, eight, and 10-year-old children all in tears."

The distressing incident happened as Claire picked up her three elder children from Kenton Primary School in Exeter at 4pm last Wednesday.

Luckily a neighbour on the bus looked after Jessica when she realised Claire had been left behind.

Claire added: "The driver apparently had tried to say the bus was full but my neighbour said there were several empty seats. I was screaming, but he just shrugged his shoulders and carried on.

"I am still very angry and upset and suffering from it. I am very wary of getting on buses."

A spokesman for bus firm Stagecoach said: "Regrettably, there was not enough space to accommodate Ms Raddon and in the confusion the bus departed with her daughter still on board.

"We realise this was extremely traumatic for Ms Raddon and her daughter and apologise for the distress they experienced." The driver has not been disciplined.

CAPTION(S):

FULL Bus similar to the one involved TRAVEL HELL Mum Claire and her daughter Jessica
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 17, 2009
Words:311
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