Thanks to a brave Texas fifth-grader who stepped up to save the day, no students were injured when a driver lost control of a school bus on Monday.
The bus was full of kids from Schlather Intermediate School in Cibolo, and they found themselves at risk when the driver suddenly experienced a seizure, losing control of the bus.
“He was shaking,” Hugo told WOAI. “Stuff was coming out of his mouth.”
As the man fell unconscious, the school bus quickly veered off the road, swerving dangerously. But Hugo didn’t lose her head in the commotion.
Instead, she remembered what her driver had instructed students to do in case of such an emergency, just days earlier.
“He told us about the button,” she recalled. “He said when I have a seizure or something, you flip that, push the doors open, and the bus will stop.”
In the chaos, Hugo said frightened students were yelling as the bus careened off the road. She herself believed that the vehicle was going to crash into another car.
But before that could happen, the fifth-grader made her way to the button.
“I thought we were going to crash into the car,” Hugo said. “There were these 2 kids, yelling at me, to switch the thing. So, I was looking around. I switched it. We pushed through the doors and ran out.”
Thanks to Hugo, the bus came to a stop without causing too much damage. Though it had hopped a curb and hit a tree, no one was hurt.
“We pushed through the doors and ran out,” Hugo said.
The bus driver was taken to a hospital, while a spokesman for the school district released a statement regarding the close call and the student’s heroism.
“Regarding the incident, a student managed to engage the air door release switch, which allows the front door to be opened manually,” Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District spokesman Ed Suarez told WOAI.
“She exited the bus and her actions helped speed the process and avoid a bottleneck at the emergency exit, located in the rear of the bus,” his statement continued.
Parents expressed their gratitude that the bus driver had taught students about emergency safety prior to the incident. If he hadn’t, the situation might have ended with serious injuries or fatalities.
“If they didn’t receive the training on Friday, it would have been a lot worse,” one parent, Soteria Amosa-Hugo, told WOAI.
Parents and their kids are now safely awaiting news of the bus driver’s condition.
He remained in the hospital as of Tuesday, and his status was unknown.
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