6-year-old girl found wandering alone in Chalmette after falling asleep on school bus

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CHALMETTE, La. — A 6-year-old girl from New Orleans was found wandering a Chalmette street Tuesday morning after she had fallen asleep and gone unnoticed by a school bus driver who had returned home after finishing his route, according to the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded about 8:30 a.m. to an unattended juvenile.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they found the girl in the care of a concerned resident who lives in the 400 block of Pierre Street, not far from where she was seen standing alone.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said the girl, who attends a charter school in New Orleans, had fallen asleep during the bus ride to school and remained on the bus after other students were dropped off for classes, unnoticed by the bus driver.

The girl woke up after the driver, who lives in Chalmette, had parked the bus near his home following his shift, not noticing the child was still aboard. The girl exited the bus on her own and was found alone by a neighborhood resident near the corner of Tournefort and East Magnolia streets in Chalmette, more than 10 miles away from her school.

Pohlmann said the girl, who was found uninjured and in good condition, was released to her grandmother, who then gave permission to school officials, who also had arrived on the scene, to return her to school.

Pohlmann said no charges have been filed against the bus driver at this time, but the case has been referred to the District Attorney’s office for further investigation.