Medford police to honor MBTA bus driver who found wandering 5-year-old girl

The Medford Police Department will honor MBTA bus driver Donna D’Amelio with a certificate of commendation Wednesday morning for helping to reunite a lost child with her family, MBTA Transit Police said.

D’Amelio was operating on her assigned route at 6:15 a.m. on Aug. 5 when she noticed a 5-year-old girl walking alone in the street near the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Light Guard Drive in Medford, Transit Police said.

D’Amelio stopped the MBTA bus, called Medford police, and stayed with the young girl until officers arrived, Transit Police said.

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“The vigilant observations and subsequent actions taken by Ms. D’Amelio clearly prevented danger to the child and narrowly averted what could have been a terrible tragedy,” Transit Police said in the statement.

The child was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for evaluation while police located her family.

Officers noticed an open door in a nearby housing development 45 minutes later and woke the family of the home, Transit Police said.

The mother was “visibly shaken” when she learned what had happened and was taken to the hospital to be reunited with her child, Transit Police said.

The family is “truly grateful” for D’Amelio’s efforts, Transit Police said.

Her actions “personify her dedication and loyalty to the MBTA and the citizens of Medford,” Transit Police said in the statement. “Her perseverance and commitment reflects greatly upon herself and the Authority and are worthy of praise.”

Medford police will present the award to D’Amelio at 10 a.m. at Transit Police headquarters.