A heroic Milwaukee bus driver saved a baby boy wandering alone in the cold.
While Irena Ivic drove her usual route on December 22, 2018, she spotted something shocking on a freeway overpass. A baby boy was walking alongside a busy road without any adult supervision. He had no shoes or coat on even though it was freezing outside.
She immediately stepped into action to rescue the poor boy. Irena was driving in the opposite direction, so she parked the bus and ran across the road to help him. In the video footage, you can see her running in front of moving traffic to save the baby.
When Irena got to him, he was crying, obviously lost and scared. She scooped him up and brought him to the warm bus. The Milwaukee County Transit System(MCTS) bus driver was in a state of shock. How could any parent allow their baby boy to wander alone in frigid temperatures?
Not to mention, the boy toddled down a bustling road improperly dressed for the weather. He was wearing a red onesie and a diaper, hardly appropriate for the weather. When Irena got onto the bus with the child, she said,
“Oh my God. Oh my God. No – I’m shaking.”
Passengers couldn’t believe it either. While they waited for help to arrive, one passenger offered her winter coat to wrap around the boy. Irena talked soothingly to the boy, caressing his hair to keep him calm. Everyone on board the bus helped to keep the baby boy warm and comfortable until first responders arrived.
They didn’t have to wait long; firefighters and police officers quickly arrived at the location. When they walked to the bus, they saw the baby boy was already asleep in Irena’s arms. Clearly, he was exhausted from walking down the busy roads and trying to keep his body warm.
The baby boy was then reunited with his father.
While he had been exposed to freezing temperatures, the toddler suffered no injuries. The baby boy went missing after the mother had a mental health crisis, according to authorities. She’d left him outside, and the boy must have gotten confused, prompting him to wander the streets.
They tracked down the father and brought the baby boy to him instead.
“I’m just grateful I was in the right place at the right time,” Ivic said at a ceremony honoring her for her heroic actions.
Ivic said she used to be a teacher and has children of her own, so she adores kids. She felt happy she could reunite the sweet baby boy with his dad. Irena is definitely a hero, and this is a perfect example of humanity at its finest.
According to the MCTS, this was the tenth time bus drivers found a lost or missing child in recent years.
Other times Milwaukee bus drivers rescued children in the area.
- Jenny Mitchell was driving her route in Milwaukee’s north end when she spotted two young children alone. She decided to pull over and ask if they needed help. The children, ages one and five, appeared lost and scared. Immediately, Jenny sensed something was wrong. She asked where they were trying to go, and they pointed in every direction. They said they’d left their house where a babysitter had been watching them. They were now trying to get to their aunt’s house. So, Jenny called the police to help them make it to their destination.
- (MCTS) Driver Cecilia Nation-Gardner noticed a young boy wandering through traffic after running away from school. She’d just pulled up to a bus stop on May 15, 2019, when the child began crossing the street in front of cars. Cecilia began frantically honking her horn to alert the drivers, but most didn’t stop. So, she got out of the bus to chase down the boy. She took the six-year-old’s hand and brought him to the bus to wait for the police. Officers later learned the boy had a disability and wandered away from school. They later reunited him with family members. The miracle of the story was that Cecilia normally didn’t travel this area on her route. She’d been in the right place at the right time.
- Another time, Milwaukee bus drivers saved two lost children on the same day! Cecilia once again came to the rescue of one of the children. In the morning hours of July 5, 2019, she noticed a young girl walking alone along Route 15. The girl was crying, carrying a blanket, and dressed in pajamas and slippers. The girl told Cecilia she was looking for her mom, who lived in another state. However, the girl’s relatives were searching for her. They soon made it to the bus and took the girl back home.
- On that same day, MCTS bus driver Cressida Neal drove for an early shift at 4:40 am. She suddenly spotted a baby boy wandering alone near an intersection. The boy was barefoot, scared, and crying. Cressida told him to come on the bus, where she gave him water and comforted him until police arrived. Apparently, the boy had been spending the night with his grandmother. He wandered away in the early-morning hours and got lost. Luckily, the police took the baby boy back to his family.
Not all heroes wear capes. Most of the time, they’re everyday people like you and me. The MCTS bus drivers have a history of excellence, going far beyond their job requirements. Many of them had saved children from danger, like when Irena Ivic rescued a baby boy wandering the streets. Unfortunately, parents face mental health issues and leave their children unattended. But luckily, guardian angels are looking out for them.
It seems that in Milwaukee, at least, the bus drivers are always willing to help children in need. It’s stories like these that restore your faith in humanity and remind you that heroes walk among us.