After an all-night search for a runaway boy last week, the youth was spotted by an alert school bus driver the next morning who was able to safely deliver him to Clarksville police officers.
Shortly before 7 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, little Ayden Price, 7, was spotted and returned safely to his home following an all-night search that began late on Wednesday night.
CMCSS officials said Stephanie Dollich, who has been a bus driver for more than 13 years, began her Thursday morning route keeping her eyes open for the missing child after observing the alerts from the Clarksville Police Department.
Dollich reportedly spotted Price at about 6:45 a.m., walking down a sidewalk.
“I saw a child walking down the road,” Dollich said. “As I approached, I knew it was the missing child.”
Dollich pulled up beside little Ayden and asked him his name. Then, she reportedly encouraged him to board her bus.
Once he was aboard the bus, school officials said the bus aide wrapped him in a blanket and Dollich radioed the district’s dispatchers to contact 911.
The police met the bus and were able to return Price safely home.
“We’re all trained to be very aware of our surroundings,” Dollich said. “It could have been any one of us. That’s my job, to keep students safe [going] to school and to go home.”
Dollich’s bus driving responsibilities include transporting students to the Tennessee School for the Blind.
“I love all my students,” Dollich said. “I feel great that I was in the right place at the right time.”
Clarksville Police said numerous officers spent the evening searching for the boy after he left his home on Rosebrook Drive after getting in trouble with his mother.
The mother notified police shortly after midnight when Price did not come home.
People searched on foot for the boy, with the assistance of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office, K9 officers and a helicopter from the Tennessee Highway Patrol.