Passengers aboard a Greyhound bus traveling from Memphis to St. Louis got more than the trip they bargained for Friday, after they were abandoned by their bus driver, twice.
The first bump in the 45 Greyhound passengers’ ill-fated journey began with a stop near Sikeston, Mo., along I-55. Passengers told St. Louis’s KSDK the 45-year-old female driver, whom Greyhound officials would not name, pulled over because she wanted a 65-year-old passenger whom she said was being unruly off the bus.
Back on the road, nearly 40 miles later in Cape Girardeau, the driver again pulled the bus over on the side of the road. At this stop, the driver told passengers she was the one leaving, locked the bus door and went outside to wait for a ride.
Local police arrived after alarmed passengers called 911 and ordered the driver back on the bus.
The driver complied to the officers’ commands, KSDK reports, but instead of continuing on to St. Louis, drove the bus to nearby Charleston, Mo., instead.
There the driver stopped at a truck stop and left the bus again around midnight, this time for good.
The bus’s now-stranded passengers called Greyhound but ended up having to spend the night on the bus after it took several hours for a replacement driver to arrive.
The passengers finally arrived in St. Louis around noon on Saturday, nearly 12 hours late.
Greyhound apologized for the driver’s actions, and said it would issue refunds to all passengers.
The bus company also announced it would discipline the driver, who has been with Greyhound since 2004, today.
“I think it’s safe to say the protocol was not followed,” Greyhound spokesman Maureen Richmond told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “It’s inexcusable and certainly unprecedented.”