John Sargeant has experienced a lot behind the wheel of his bus,
but one recent trip saw him go above and beyond for a lost little girl.

Driving along his regular route recently, Mr Sargeant was going about picking up passengers and dropping off when a primary school girl, hopped on.

Samantha Gill, 9, is new to catching the bus and was a bit worried when she noticed Mr Sargeant and not her usual driver, Mick.

“By the time we got down to Redbank Plains Road, she came up to me and in a rather timid voice said ‘I think I’m on the wrong bus’,” Mr Sargeant said.

“Once she come up and told me I thought straight away that we need to get her to the right place. I called the base to track down her bus and I stopped at the shopping centre and waited there while the bus came along.

“I kept my other passengers informed and they sat back and waited, everyone was great with it.

“I tried to stay positive for her, kept talking to her.”

As a grandfather, John believes extra care needs to be taken when ensuring the safety of children.

“I have grandchildren of my own and they are precious. You don’t want them going off track,” Mr Sargeant said.

A very grateful grandmother, Kim Douglass, took to the City Watch – Keeping Ipswich Safe Facebook group to post her thanks.
Ms Douglass had hoped the message might find its way to the driver but she got more than she bargained for.

“It sort of blew up bigger than Ben Hur. I mean, I just wanted to say thank you because I thought it was a really wonderful thing he did because she was really scared. To get so many comments and positive reaction to it was just amazing,” Ms Douglass said.

The post attracted 81 comments, 41 shares and was liked by 1500 users.

When the three met up at the Westside Bus Company, Samantha handed Mr Sargeant a box of Cadbury Roses.

“Thank you,” she said.

Ms Douglass wanted Mr Sargeant to know how much she appreciated his efforts.

“I very much appreciate you looking after my girl, she’s my only grandchild, so she is very precious,” she said.

While Mr Sargeant appreciated the choccies, he didn’t think he had done anything out of the ordinary.

“I havn’t done anything than any other bus driver wouldn’t have done in the same situation,” he said.

“It’s something we do, it’s great that it has been highlighted for me but there are a lot of unsung heroes out there.”

Westside Bus Company operations manager Peter Watt explains what to do if you find yourself on the wrong bus.

  • Talk to your bus driver as soon as you realise you are on the wrong bus.
  • Approach the driver so he can direct you to the correct
    bus. Don’t just get off the bus.
  • The bus driver will help you.

Ipswich First