The parents of a 4-year-old little girl, who sneaked out of her family home in the middle of the night to satisfy a craving for a Slushie, are calling a public transportation bus driver a hero. The parents say they had no idea the little girl had exited the home at 3 a.m. as they slept. The girl then walked four blocks, in the pouring rain, to a bus stop where the bus driver took the little girl under his care until police could arrive.
WPVI reports that a 4-year-old little girl in a purple raincoat caused quite the stir in Philadelphia when she boarded a SEPTA bus at 3 a.m. The bus driver says that he was shocked when a passenger flagged down his bus at 3 a.m. to inform him of the little girl traveling alone in the middle of the night. The bus driver allowed the little girl to board the bus while he called police.
It seems that the little girl named Annabelle had a late-night craving for a Slushie from Wawa. Therefore, instead of waking her parents, who were deep asleep in their home, she decided to put on her raincoat and go get a Slushie on her own. The bus driver, Harlan Jenifer, says he knew exactly what the girl was up to when she began chanting, "All I want is a Slushie!" The bus driver said the whole thing was shocking and he couldn't believe it all took place so early in the morning.
"Got to be kidding me! At this time, at 3 o'clock on the morning. She's a small little thing. It kind of just shocked me."
However, Harlan is a father-of-three so he wanted to be sure the little girl was okay. He stayed with her on the bus until the police could arrive and take the little girl to the hospital. Once at the hospital, the police discovered there was no foul play and called Annabelle's parents to let them know the girl was okay. The parents said they had no idea that their daughter was missing until they got the phone call from the hospital that woke them from their sleep.
The girl's parents, Jaclyn Mager and Timothy Ridgeway, say they will be forever grateful to the bus driver and realize that the scenario could have played out very differently had the bus driver not stopped to help the little girl on a Slushie mission.
"There are no words, (the bus driver) saved my daughter's life. I'll be forever grateful."
Following the incident, the police did inspect the family's home and found nothing out of the ordinary. Annabelle has promised never to leave her home again without supervision, and the parents say the locks on the home have been reconfigured so that the 4-year-old will not be able to open them.