'Crying and praying:' Prosecutors say Milwaukee school bus driver left 4-year-old girl alone on bus

Lamonica Langston

MILWAUKEE -- Charges were filed Jan. 10 against a Milwaukee school bus driver accused of leaving a 4-year-old girl alone on the bus on Jan. 6 near 23rd Street and Scott Street.

Lamonica Langston, 44, faces one count of neglecting a child -- specified harm did not occur.

"It's scary," said Maria Ramirez, neighbor. "It's really scary."

According to a criminal complaint, Langston was supposed to pick up the child, now 5, and drop her off at Milwaukee's Spanish Immersion School -- but the girl fell asleep on the bus and Langston did not notice, driving the bus home. There, prosecutors said she failed to comply with company policy and complete a walk-through of the bus to make sure all of the children were off the bus.

"Oh my God, it's just upsetting, you know?" said Ramirez. "Knowing that there's a child left behind."

The 4-year-old girl woke up alone and cold on the bus, the complaint said, with prosecutors noting it was 36 degrees. The complaint said the child began to cry and started banging on windows until a concerned citizen noticed. That person was unable to open the doors to the bus -- so 911 was called. Firefighters responded and pried open the doors. The complaint said the child was "crying and praying."

"Oh, that's awful," said Delia Luna-Correa, neighbor. "They should be more careful."

Prosecutors said Langston admitted she was responsible for the children on the bus, and that she failed to see whether there were any students still on the bus before getting off the bus.

"I expect for them to double-check and make sure there's no one behind," said Ramirez. "Always double-check. Thank God she was safe. Thank God she's home and OK."

Langston made her initial appearance in court on Jan. 10. Cash bond was set at $250, and a plea/sentencing hearing was set for Feb. 12.

Officials with Milwaukee Public Schools said Langston worked for Specialized Care Transport. Langston told FOX6 News Tuesday she no longer works for tehc company.