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Goodyear police recommend child abuse charges against driver who left teen with autism on bus for hours

Posted at 10:59 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 14:21:44-04

GOODYEAR, AZ — New records released by Goodyear police reveal the panic behind a Valley mother's 911 call after learning her son was locked in a van for more than two hours.

The incident happened earlier this month, when Goodyear police say an employee with Precious Home Services picked up a non-verbal, 16-year-old boy with autism to take him and seven other children to a West Valley learning center, but never got him off the bus.

"I thought she had got [the teen] out of the van," said the driver, 36-year-old Diana Salgado-Gutierrez. "I didn't see him and when I went inside the van to take the van to the main center to drop off the keys, I looked in the rearview mirror and I didn't see anybody."

The driver was remorseful when speaking to police, telling them she parked the van back at the office and left to appear in court for a hearing regarding a crash.

She says she had no idea the teen was still on the bus until she got a call from the kids center as she returned.

"I ran inside to get the keys," she told police, once she realized he was still inside.

Goodyear police took several photos of the van in question the next day and even tested the temperature inside the van where the teen sat. After more than two hours, police say the temperature inside reached 128 degrees.

The department is recommending Salgado-Gutierrez face child abuse charges. The driver hasn't been arrested though, according to the police report.