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Bus driver goes off route to help elderly woman

PINELLAS PARK — Driver April Eastman had just stopped her PSTA bus behind the Shoppes at Park Place when an elderly woman approached with an odd request.

The woman asked if Eastman would take her to New York. To visit her parents.

"I knew right away that something was wrong," Eastman, 44, said.

The woman, 93-year-old Helene Day, suffers from dementia and had wandered from her Pinellas Park home.

As Day's daughter Elizabeth Bryce searched the neighborhood for her mother, Eastman tried to figure out where the woman belonged.

She radioed a supervisor and asked for the police. Eastman asked the woman if she could look in her purse. There, she found a note that identified Day and listed a phone number and address. Eastman called and left a message.

Then Eastman realized the address was only about three blocks away. She got permission to take the woman home.

"People were going around everywhere looking for her," Bryce said. "Then, someone said, 'What's a bus doing here?' "

Then Bryce saw Eastman walking with her mother. "I was so relieved."

Turns out, Day's parents have been dead for 30 years and never lived in New York.

Bus driver goes off route to help elderly woman 11/24/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 6:15pm]
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