Kionna Newell had just finished work last Friday and was driving to pick up her son at day care. The Glendale mom ran inside Nana's Place and Preschool Academy but, to her shock, he wasn't there.
"I was freaking out," said Newell.
Screaming and running around, Newell and staff looked throughout the building but couldn't find him. A worker then went outside to check.
"She comes back through the front door with him and I was like, 'Where was he?'" said Newell.
Hayden had been inside one of the buses. The 5-year-old had fallen asleep after being picked up at school and no one realized he was still on the bus. Police said he was on the parked bus for up to an hour in the hot Arizona sun.
"If I didn't arrive when I did, he'd be dead," said Newell.
The little boy was dehydrated, hot and dripping with sweat, according to his mom.
"He was soaking wet, she said. "His eyes were blood red and he was crying."
Hayden was taken to a local emergency room to be checked out and by 8 p.m. Friday was doing much better.
"He's tough," said Newell.
Glendale police were notified and have started an investigation. It is possible that neglect charges could be filed against the bus driver or another worker.
12 News reached out the day care for a comment and we were sent this statement:
Nana’s Place Preschool and Academy is aware of the unfortunate situation that took place Friday afternoon. Nana’s Place has been providing quality and secure childcare to the community for over 10 years. Our number one priority is the safety of our children and we are taking this matter very seriously. Our heartfelt apologies are with this long term customer of ours. Regulations and policies are being reviewed and updated. Administrative actions are being taken as this investigation continues.
Newell has hired an attorney and is considering a lawsuit.