MCTS Driver Saves Little Boy Who Wandered Away from School


MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) Driver Cecilia Nation-Gardner may have prevented a tragedy on May 15, 2019, when she stopped to help a little boy who was running through traffic after wandering away from school.

Cecilia had just pulled up to a bus stop at 35th and Vliet streets in Milwaukee when the child started crossing in front of moving vehicles. Cecilia immediately honked the horn to help get the attention of other drivers, but most cars continued rolling through the area.

Cecilia got out of her bus and ran into the street. She took the six-year-old boy’s hand and walked him to the safety of her bus to wait for police to arrive.

Officers later learned that the boy, who has a disability, wandered away from school. Police eventually reunited the child with his family.

Cecilia, who has three children of her own, would not normally have been at that particular intersection at that exact time.

"I ended up leaving my layover two minutes later than normal," Cecilia said afterwards. "That’s why I say I was in the right place at the right time. It was meant for me to be there. God does everything for a reason."

This is the 10th lost or missing child found by MCTS Drivers in recent years.

About MCTS Excellence

The MCTS Excellence program launched in 2017 as a unique way to recognize MCTS employees for their big and small acts of kindness. The campaign includes a popular video series, in which bus surveillance video is used to tell incredible stories that might not otherwise get told. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe have viewed or read about MCTS employees’ inspiring actions, thanks to the broad reach of social media, TV, radio, and newspapers.

Followup Notes

  • On May 31, 2019, the little boy's mother, Cassandra Garrett, met Cecilia for the first time and thanked her for saving her son's life. 
    • Watch video of the reunion here and read more here.
  • In July 2019, Cecilia met a group of students who were in town visiting from Spain. She gave them a ride to Bayshore Town Center and posed for a photo!
  • In February 2020, Cecilia was one of three MCTS drivers honored at the Black Excellence Awards.

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