Driver comes to the rescue after woman got on bus wearing her slippers

28 Jul 2022

Caring bus driver, Tom Carr, came to the rescue of a vulnerable 74-year-old woman who went missing from her home.

An alert was put out last week after Eileen Turton went missing in Allerton, with police appealing for help in tracing her whereabouts. However the bus driver, Tom Carr, was unaware of this when she boarded the Number 21 Stagecoach service from the city centre to Northwood, Kirkby, on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 13.

Tom, 52, said: "It's a very busy route, with around 100 people on the bus. I remembered her getting on because she didn't swipe the card reader, but I didn't think anything of it and she sat right at the front of the bus. It goes to Kirkby and then does a loop and goes back the same way.

On the way to Kirkby, near Walton, I let a homeless guy on who asked if he could go a few stops and he went and sat right next to her. Some people of her age might have been a bit wary, but she was chatting away to him quite happily.

When she hadn't got off by the time we reached Kirkby, I asked her if she'd missed her stop or if she knew where she was going. She said she was getting off to meet her dad, which first made me think something wasn't right, given her age.

She got off the bus and started walking away, and when I asked the passengers who were getting on whether any of them recognised her, and they said they didn't, I caught up with her and asked her if she wanted to get back on to the bus.

I then pulled over and put a call in to police, and found out she was on a missing list. I arranged with the officers to pick her up while she was on the bus. I told the passengers there was an 'issue with the bus' to explain why there might be a delay."

Dad-of-two Tom, who has been a Stagecoach driver for 16 years, said: "The scary thing is she seemed fine, she was well-dressed and chatty, although she was wearing slippers. It didn't take a great deal of working out, it's more common sense."

Maria Muggridge, operations manager for Stagecoach Merseyside said: "For Tom, serving the community isn't just about driving a bus, it is about being part of it and his actions reflect that.

"We are really proud of Tom for going to give Eileen assistance whilst driving the 21 route. He made sure she was safe and got the help she needed. All of us here at Stagecoach are very grateful to him for going above and beyond."