Bus company responds after blind teen left at wrong place

EMPATHETIC: Jessica Venables has helped a young blind boy who appears to have been dropped off at the wrong bus stop
EMPATHETIC: Jessica Venables has helped a young blind boy who appears to have been dropped off at the wrong bus stop

SUNBUS have responded to claims a blind teen was left in tears at a bus stop after requesting to go to Buderim Falls and never making it. 

Instead the teen was found sobbing at a bus stop by Caloundra resident Jessica Venables, who said he was 2km from the falls. 

A Sunbus spokesman said last night that the company had been made aware of the incident and was investigating.

"Sunbus management is concerned to hear the events which transpired after the male left our service and is attempting to contact the passenger and his family," the spokesman said.


IF YOU saw a child crying alone in public would you stop to see if they were okay?

It was a situation Caloundra's Jessica Venables had to weigh up when she drove past a boy in "absolute tears" at a Buderim bus stop yesterday.

What he had to say when she stopped had her in tears too.

"I saw the boy crying at the bus stop and it broke my heart," Ms Venables said.

"He looked like my brother. I didn't know if he had been getting picked on so I told my mum, who I was driving with, to turn around and go back.

"I've recently had a baby myself - if my son was sitting at a stop crying I would want someone to stop and see if he's okay."


Jessica's post on the Sunshine Coast Community Board yesterday.
Jessica's post on the Sunshine Coast Community Board yesterday. Facebook

The 25-year-old said she learnt the boy - a 15-year-old named James - was more than just an ordinary teen.

He told her he was almost 100% blind as a result of brain tumours.

"At first I didn't see his walking stick lying on the ground - he didn't see me," she said. "He was a bit stand-offish at first. When I realised and could see how hysterical he was I just sat down and cuddled him."

Ms Venables said James told her he had tried to board a bus to Buderim Falls and asked the bus driver to take him there.

"When the driver dropped him off he (James) said he was told it was only 20 metres up the road," she said.

When Ms Venables found him, however, he was about 2km from the falls.

"He was on the right bus but he never got to the falls - he said he just really wanted to go there," she said.

During the trip, she said she learnt he was a fantastic young artist with a lot of creativity.

"He sells his drawings to make money - he spends every Saturday trying to sell his gorgeous drawings," she said. "I believe he gets around the town quite a bit by himself. He seemed like a very independent young man".

Topics:  blind buderim editors picks sunbus

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