Eau Claire Transit bus driver rescues toddler in traffic lane
A toddler is safe thanks to an Eau Claire Transit bus driver.
On Tuesday, May 5, Eau Claire Transit says bus driver Mike Steinke saw a toddler in the middle of the traffic lanes on Harding Avenue as he was driving Route #5.
He stopped the bus in the lane of traffic, got out, and picked up the toddler.
“I just went over to her and opened my arms and she let me pick her up and carry her to the bus,” Steinke said.
He says the child, who is not yet two years old, didn’t cry or act like there was anything wrong when he approached her.
"She was just a happy little, not even two-year-old," Steinke says. "Just out exploring."
Steinke contacted his supervisor, Ange Norgaard, and informed her of the situation. She contacted the Eau Claire Police Department and an officer was dispatched to the scene.
Before the officer arrived, Eau Claire Transit says the mother realized something was wrong when she saw her front door open and a bus parked out on the street. She went to the bus and was shocked, but appreciative, to see her daughter there with Steinke.
"I didnt think anything more about it than the safety of the little girl," Steinke says. "I'm just glad that she is safe and back with mom."
Mike Steinke has been a bus operator for the City of Eau Claire for more than five years.