SEFFNER, Fla. — Kandi Burnham, a Hillsborough County Public Schools bus driver who is now on leave with multiple sclerosis, was honored this month at Florida's annual Missing Children's Day in Tallahassee for preventing the potential abduction of a student in December 2010.

Burnham was named Florida's School Bus Operator of the Year, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

In the December incident, a man pushing a wheelchair approached the door of Burnham's bus to ask if a student named "Hailey" was on board, claiming to be her father. The only children left on the bus at the time were a pair of twins, one of which was named Bailey.

The man corrected himself and said he was looking for Bailey, and then claimed he was the girl's uncle, the St. Petersburg Times reports. The twins' mother had not met them at an earlier stop as she normally did, but Burnham was suspicious. She talked to the man for five minutes, and then drove off with the twins still on board; the man was yelling and pounding on the bus.

Burnham drove to a nearby school and described the incident to a bus dispatcher, who called police. Police questioned the man but let him go.

Staff Writer

Staff Writer