Republish
Reprint
Two school bus workers were charged with endangering the welfare of a 6-year-old autistic boy who they allegedly left on their bus for more than 7 hours earlier this month.

EDISON -- Two school bus workers have been charged with leaving an autistic six-year-old boy on their bus for more than seven hours earlier this month, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced Friday.

Luis Gonzalez, 67, of Middlesex Borough and Maria Vasquez, 53, of Edison, were charged Thursday with endangering the welfare of a child, who Carey said was abandoned on their bus on Oct. 22, 2015.

Carey said Gonzalez was the bus driver and Vasquez a bus aide.

The prosecutor said the child was picked up to be taken to a school in Edison at 8:45 a.m., but was never escorted off the bus, which then was returned to the Barker Bus Co. bus yard in Bridgewater.

He said another driver discovered the child during an afternoon school pickup and alerted company owners.

MORE:  Middlesex County news

Carey said the child was returned safely to his school, where a school nurse examined him at about 4 p.m.

The prosecutor did not identify the child's school.

Gonzalez and Vasquez were released on their own recognizance after they surrendered to police. No court hearing dates have been set, Carey said.

A source close to the Edison school district said it was the Edison schools' superintendent, Richard O'Malley, who contacted the prosecutor's office when he learned about the child being left on the bus.

The source said the route, one of several run by the private bus company, will no longer be serviced by the company.

O'Malley said the district appreciated "the swift response by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office."

A spokeswoman for the The Barker Bus Company declined comment.

NJ Advance Media reporter Brian Amaral contributed to this report. 

Sue Epstein may be reached at sepstein@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @susan_epstein. Find NJ.com on Facebook.