Topeka Metro bus driver stops to save child in street

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Topeka Metro Bus driver was doing his usual route Thursday morning when he spotted a young child walking alone on the street.

Niles Brandstoettner said his instincts took over when he saw the little girl walking in the street barefoot, with no one else around near SW 12th and Clay.

"I knew something was wrong, I pulled the bus over, I got out and went and picked her up,” Brandstoettner said. “I did the same thing anyone would have done, I hope."

Topeka Police say the child had wandered out of her home when her siblings left for school and didn't shut the front door.

Brandstoettner said he won't criticize the parents. He's just glad he spotted her before anything worse happened.

"In this case, it was my obligation to do something,” Brandstoettner said. “I couldn't just keep on going and none of the bus drivers would have."

Morning dispatcher Dale Garcia was shocked when she heard Brandstoettners radio call, but she wasn't surprised he took action.

"You bond with these drivers, as a dispatcher, you see them every day, you learn their voices,” Garcia said. “Niles is a very compassionate, high energy and he thinks quick opn his feet."

Brandstoetter said he’s glad he could bring some positivity into the world with his actions.

TPD found the child's home and she was returned to her parents unharmed.