WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — A bus driver in Westmoreland County stopped to help two toddlers who were wandering alone near a road.
What happened along the 2700 block of Melwood Road in Allegheny Township is one part heroic and as police put it, one part “inexcusable.”
According to Allegheny Township police, Kiski Area school bus driver Sheri Nance was driving kids home when she saw something she couldn’t believe. There was a small child, under 2 years old, crawling along the shoulder of the busy road.
“She had to apply the breaks in an emergency fashion to not strike the child literally on the highway. There was another child, also about 2 years of age, standing right off on the shoulder as well,” Allegheny Township Police Chief Duane Fisher said.
Investigators say the home that the children were in front of had a wide-open front door, the same door investigators say 34-year-old Tiffany Nicole Higgens came out of to tell the driver that she lost track of the children and was giving a bath to a third child.
Police say there was a broken baby gate on the front porch. The road in front of the house has a 55 miles per hour speed limit.
Police arrived to talk to Higgens and discovered the conditions inside the home were, as court record states, “deplorable.”
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti knocked on the door of the home where the kids allegedly escaped from. No one answered, but a voice on the other side of the door said what happened was “all a mistake.”
However, police say Nance is nothing short of a hero.
“There is no doubt that this bus driver saved the life of that child,” Fisher said.
Higgens faces multiple felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child and other charges. She’s free awaiting a December preliminary hearing. Westmoreland County Family and Youth Services has also launched an investigation into the conditions of the home.