TriMet bus driver spots toddler wandering near busy road, brings him to safety

GRESHAM, Ore. -- When TriMet bus driver Bill Clark saw a barefoot toddler wandering out into traffic on a busy Gresham road, he immediately pulled over.

"Stop the bus set the brake and out the door I go," said Clark.

Clark was driving his regular route on Southeast Division Street in Gresham.

"And there's the boy!" Clark said, while watching the surveillance video shot by his bus camera.

Clark showed us how he immediately pulled over.

His passengers jumped up to see what was going on. Clark was already rushing to the toddler, who was wearing a diaper and T-shirt.

"I was like 'Where are you going? Where are you going?' and not getting a response, I just reached out," Clark replied.

"He took your hand so whatever you conveyed to him, he trusted you," KATU's Valerie Hurst said.

From there Clark carried the boy onto the bus and offers him what every 2-year-old loves: hot cocoa.

"What were you thinking at this point?" Hurst asked.

"Happy he was on the bus and not out on the street," Clark replied.

Turns out the little boy had wandered from the nearby apartments right off Division Street.

Gresham police say his father had worked a late shift and fell asleep. He had no idea the child was outside. The family was reunited later, all thanks to Clark.

"I was happy that he wasn't gonna be stuck in a foster home. That he got home and everything was fine," Clark said.

DHS did get involved for a short time. They returned the child to his family and asked them to put a child safety lock or an alarm on their door.