Bus driver accused of locking woman in luggage compartment

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BOSTON (WBZ/CNN) – A bus driver is facing charges in Connecticut after witnesses say a passenger was locked inside a luggage compartment.

Passenger Caroline Van Allen said she was on a bus bound for Boston after a trip to New York when she saw an unusual sight – a woman spilling out of the luggage compartment.

“Did I miss it? Did I hallucinate? Did she get off the bus?” she said.

A few miles from the Massachusetts border, the bus she was riding in was pulled over by Connecticut State Police.

“She was locked in there and had called 911. Not only that, people in the front could hear her banging for help,” Van Allen said.

Driver Wendy Alberty, 49, was arrested and is now being accused of purposely locking a female passenger in the luggage compartment.

Van Allen said the incident could’ve happened during the trip’s routine stop in Hartford.

“They did not tell us anything. We just watched as this woman, extremely calmly, took all of her belongings. She did not say one word to the driver,” she said.

Bus operator Peter Pan said in a statement: “We are deeply concerned and are treating this as our No. 1 priority,” adding that the driver, who’s been employed by the company since 2012, is now on investigative suspension.

“Why didn’t she see a human being in there? Why did not the woman say, ‘Hey, don’t close that?’ People at Peter Pan are responsible for transporting you and your luggage safely,” said Van Allen.

The bus driver faces charges of unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment and breach of peace. She’s due in court on Aug. 21.

Copyright 2019 WBZ via CNN. All rights reserved.

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