Driver Charged in Connection with 3-Year-Old Left on Bus

By KBJR News 1

January 25, 2013 Updated Jan 25, 2013 at 7:06 PM CDT

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A Mahtowa man is facing criminal charges for allegedly leaving a three-year-old boy on a Head Start bus for three hours in the freezing cold.

Thomas Soderholm was charged with Child Endangerment, a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one-year in prison.

A criminal complaint states that last Monday, 53-year-old Soderholm and a bus monitor with cognitive disabilities, both indicated the bus was empty before Soderholm parked it at the Fond du Lac Transportation facility.

Three-year-old Ty Stiffarm was found three hours after Soderholm left.

He was hospitalized and treated for cold weather exposure.

Stiffarm's mom says he is doing better since the incident.

"He is in therapy now and he'll be returning for an hour on Monday with me there so, he's doing good," said Brooklynn Wait, Stiffarm's mother.

Soderholm will be back in court February 4th to respond to the charges against him.

Fond du Lac Chairwoman Karen Diver said says the tribal government cooperated fully with the investigation.

She added that the situation is regrettable and she is thankful that the little boy is okay and recovering.