AN investigation has been launched after a bus driver drove off with a five-year-old onboard leaving the rest of his family behind.

Intrepid passenger Freddie Gore hopped onto the bus while mother Tracey Gore got ready to board with her one-year-old granddaughter Isla Hassan.

But before they, as well as Charlie Gore, eight, and Shenelle Hassan, 11, could join him the driver closed the doors and carried on along the route.

Frantic mum Tracey was forced to sprint half a mile after the bus waving and screaming while other motorists also tried to get the driver’s attention.

She said: “It was very scary. I told Isla, Charlie and Shenelle to stay there and I couldn’t run fast enough after the bus.”

Tracey chased First Bus 27 until it stopped at the next stop.

She said: “I was legging it. The car driving behind the bus was flashing its lights and tooting its horn at the bus driver.

“Freddie was absolutely distraught, he was crying a lot. People on the bus were mouthing to me, are you alright, to see if I was OK.

“I was fearful for Freddie, wondering if it would stop. You don’t know who is on the bus nowadays, he could have been abducted. It was terrifying and I’m dreading the next school run.”

She had just picked her children up from Thorpe Greenways School and was taking the route home on Woodgrange Drive when it happend at 3.40pm on Thursday.

Dan Worley, Operations Manager at First Hadleigh said: “We are looking into an incident that was brought to our attention, whereby a customer has alleged her five-year-old son jumped on the bus without her realising he had got on, the bus driver then closed the doors and proceeded away from the stop without her.

"It wasn’t until further down the road, the situation was apparently bought to the driver's attention. We will be undertaking an investigation into the allegation and respond as soon as possible.”