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Suburban School Bus Picked Up Kids Despite Not Having Any Heat

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Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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(CBS) – In this bitter cold, a suburban bus driver says she had to get medical attention after being issued a bus with no working heat.

More than three dozen children headed for the Monroe Middle School in Wheaton had a ride they won’t soon forget and neither will the bus driver.

“The kids were freezing. We were all freezing,” said school bus driver Elisha Jones.

Jones says she and 41 middle school students were trapped on board a bus that had no heat for almost two hours. It was zero outside.

“It was terrifying. It was upsetting because I felt like no one would help,”

Jones says she got no help from the dispatcher at the Illinois Central School Bus Company in West Chicago.

“20 minutes before I put any kids on the bus I warned them, there is something wrong with the heat cause it’s not working and they told me to keep going,” said Jones.

Later she says, her dispatcher told Jones it could not be fixed because the bus needed a part. Jones then had to stop driving.

“There was frost inside on every window inside the bus. I couldn’t see out of the bus,” said Jones.

After almost two hours a warm replacement bus arrived. The kids seemed okay but Jones was later treated for frostnip, the first stage of Frostbite.

“That bus should not have been in operation,” said Jones’ Teamsters Union Rep.

The school bus company is not commenting on all this and neither is the school superintendent.

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