Day care worker apologizes for child left on hot bus in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Chapel Hill day care center where a 2-year-old was left on a bus for several hours Tuesday when temperatures topped 100 degrees is now under investigation by three agencies. Chapel Hill police, DHHS, and Social Services are all reviewing the incident.

The bus monitor at Operation New Life is now speaking out and admitted policies were not followed.

"I am still traumatized from it," said monitor Rosa Brigman. "I didn't think I could even look at her because I blame myself that she was on there and she could have been gone."

Brigman said there were only four children on the bus that day. She said she and the bus driver never did a walk-through once the bus arrived at the day care center in the morning, and 2-year-old Karah Evans sat on the bus until late afternoon.

"She been on there for six hours, more than six hours. I'd say about seven," said Brigman. "When they pulled her out, she was sweating to death. (Her) hair was wet. Her clothes were sweaty. Her eyes were open, but she wasn't moving."

Brigman said she urged staff to call authorities, but they ignored her request.

"I said 'Call 911 now. Call her mom now.' No one was listening to me. No one wanted to call because they wanted to cover themselves," she said.

Brigman was fired and said she only learned about the termination watching the news. She showed up at the toddler's house Thursday afternoon to apologize Karah's mother.

"I blame myself," said Brigman. "I could have sworn she was out of her seat already."

"There's many people at fault for this," said mother Kimberly Cates. "She's the least of it, and she took responsibility."

Administrators at Operation New Life declined ABC11's requests for an interview. The center said in a statement they have implemented new safety measures to ensure this never happens again.

Police said their investigations is ongoing. The department is in the process of interviewing every employee working on the day of the incident.

DHHS would not comment if the day care's license could be revoked.

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