York bus driver pleads guilty to child endangerment; she was accused of leaving special-needs child alone in van for 6 hours

YORK — A 67-year-old school bus driver accused of leaving a special needs child alone inside a school van for nearly six hours last year pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of children in York County Court, according to online court documents.

Marilyn Tarlton was charged last August by York City Police, who were informed of the incident by F&S Transportation, where she worked as a part-time driver.

The incident occurred on March 16, 2018, police say.

According to police, Tarlton was a part-time driver with the transportation company, driving on Thursdays and Fridays. She had never driven the victim before the incident occurred, police say. Tarlton picked up the victim, a 16-year-old boy, at approximately 7:30 a.m., and later picked up two other children, according to police. She then drove them to school, where she was supposed to drop off the other children at one door and the victim at a second door, police say.

But Tarlton neglected to drop the victim off at the second door of the school and instead drove home, parking the van in her driveway with the victim inside, police say.

When Tarlton returned to the school between 2 and 2:30 p.m. and picked up the other children, they asked her why the victim was already in the van, according to police. That’s when Tarlton realized the victim had been in the van all day, she later told police.

Tarlton took the victim and the other children home, she told police. She dropped the victim at his home, but said she believed no one was there. She did not knock on the door at the residence, telling police she assumed no one was home because there were no cars in the driveway. The victim must have had a key to the residence, Tarlton later told police.

After dropping off the children, Tarlton returned to F&S Transportation at approximately 4 p.m. and told them what had happened. The company later alerted police.

Tarlton told police she had been told the victim was non-verbal. She said she did not attempt to speak to the victim, police say.

She also told police she wished she would have checked the van in this case.

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