SAFELY HOME: Melissa Norquay is concerned her son James got into a car with a stranger.
SAFELY HOME: Melissa Norquay is concerned her son James got into a car with a stranger. john mccutcheon

Mix-up no fault of bus driver, says mum of blind teen

THE mother of a blind teenager found crying at a Buderim bus stop has cleared Sunbus of any wrongdoing, saying he became overwhelmed after making a mistake.

Melissa Norquay's 15-year-old son James had been trying to get to Buderim Falls to take photos but left the bus 2km short of his destination.

He was discovered by Jessica Venables, who calmed him down and drove him to the shops near his Coolum home.

HOW THIS STORY UNFOLDED 

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

Wednesday's incident made headlines and created a social media storm, with many people attacking the bus driver for leaving the teenager at the bus stop.

But Mrs Norquay said James was the one at fault and she was more concerned he got into a vehicle with a stranger.

Although she thought he had gone to nearby Coolum Beach to take photos, Mrs Norquay said it wasn't unusual for him to catch public transport.

"He has done Guide Dog mobility training so he can travel on buses like any other 15-year-old

"He's a normal 15-year-old who needs to have a life.

"I'm not going to force him to sit in his room all day."

But she said James had medical conditions which could cause problems.

"He has had brain cancer, so his body doesn't produce adrenalin, which means we have to give him steroids to overcome that.

"But his body can't cope with stress and shuts down.

"I think that's what happened here - he realised he was a couple of kilometres away from where he wanted to be and the enormity of the situation hit him and he began crying.

"He became disoriented, confused and overwhelmed."

"I have spoken to him about that.

"We were very lucky someone was caring enough to stop and also lucky it was someone decent because there are some predators out there. We don't want kids who hear his story to think it's okay to get in a car with a stranger. We want them to know they should ring their mum and dad and tell them what's happened. Better for them to get home safely and be in trouble than not get home at all."

She said she had contacted Sunbus to advise them of the situation and understood the driver would not get into any trouble.

A Sunbus spokesman confirmed the driver had been cleared of any wrongdoing.


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