A female bus driver went above and beyond her duty when she stopped driving to save an unexpected passenger: a barefoot toddler.
Irena Ivic was doing her normal routine, driving on a freeway overpass when she saw a toddler. According to Matt Sliker, Milwaukee County Transit System spokesperson, the young child in a red onesie and a diaper, was quickly walking barefoot to an intersection.
During a commendation ceremony held in honor of her heroic act on Thursday, Ivic is thankful that she was able to save the wandering toddler. “I’m just grateful I was in the right place at the right time,” She immediately stopped the bus and ran out to get the child and carried the toddler to the bus, as seen in a video released by the transit system. Also seen in the video was a nervous Ivic as she went back in her driver’s seat with the little girl while the passengers were in disbelief.
According to the transit system, the weather was freezing that day, December 22. One passenger on the bus removed her winter coat and covered it around the toddler, who was uncomfortably cool. The video captured Ivic’s act of kindness. The little girl fell asleep on her arms as she was talking to her and stroking her hair.
The police said that the 19-month-old toddler had been cold to touch and looked scared but was not harmed. Officials believed that the child went missing due to her mother’s mental health crisis. According to Sliker, the baby eventually reunited with her father.
“I absolutely love kids. I used to be a teacher and I have children of my own, so I’m so happy I was able to help this sweet, innocent baby,” Ivic said. This is the ninth time a missing or lost kid has been rescued by a Milwaukee County Transit System driver in a few years.