Quick-thinking student drives bus to safety after driver collapses
Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:01PM AST
A 16-year-old boy who saved a busload of schoolchildren is being hailed a hero.
The school bus was travelling south on Highway 2 in Parrsboro, N.S. around 8:30 a.m. when the driver collapsed, causing the vehicle to cross the centre line.
Sensing something was wrong, student Brady Dunham sprang into action and grabbed the wheel of the school bus.
He says it simply seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
“She started to go off the road. As it was going off the road, I ran to the front of the bus and grabbed the wheel.”
He says he didn’t think about what to do next, he just acted.
“Her feet were on the gas and the brake and I moved her feet off them, so the bus would come to a stop,” he explains.
He managed to drive the vehicle to safety in a nearby field.
Dunham says the driver appeared to be only semi-conscious at the time and police confirm she suffered a medical emergency on the bus.
If Dunham had not acted quickly, the bus could have left the road and sailed into a ravine nearby.
“Our bus driver stopped the bus before the Glooscap Restaurant, and we thought we were early, and then she just went off the other side,” says student Destiny Hoeg.
“Then she went into a guardrail. We were like, what is she doing?”
However, Hoeg says she wasn’t worried about herself.
“I didn’t have any control over anything, and all the little kids, I was really worried about them.”
Patsy Smith’s grandson was on the bus. She is grateful no one was seriously injured.
“Oh, relieved that the kids were able to get that bus under control and…feel very bad for the bus driver,” says Smith.
The driver’s condition isn’t being made public yet, although police say she was taken to the Cumberland Regional Hospital after suffering a medical emergency.
There were roughly 20 children on the bus at the time of the incident. There were no reported injuries, but police say each child was examined as a precaution.
Damage to the school bus was minimal.
As for Dunham, he received many ‘thanks’ Thursday for his quick thinking.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw