School Bus Crew Use Seat Belts to Save Brother and Sister During Flood: 'Very Grateful'

·3 min read

A school bus driver and a bus monitor saved two siblings from rapidly rising floodwaters in Dallas this week.

On Monday, the area was hit with torrential rains, with some areas getting more than 10 inches of rainfall, according to CNBC.

Due to flooding in the area, after finishing their route, driver Simone Edmond and Tekendria Valentine took an alternate path, according to a statement from the Dallas Independent School District. While driving, they noticed a child trapped in the water and another yelling for help.

"It was horrible, my legs were stuck," 11-year-old Gabriel Garner, who was pinned against a tree, told Fox station KDFW.

Although he and his 13-year-old sister, Trinity Miller, thought it would be safe to play outside during the rain, they were quickly swept into the brush near their Southeast Dallas home, according to the outlet, which also reported that neither of the siblings can swim.

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After realizing they needed help, the bus driver stopped and "positioned the bus at an angle to try and calm the roaring waters," the school district said in a statement.

Speaking to KDFW, the children's mother said her boyfriend got stuck in the water while trying to save the children.

"I was scared because I thought I was going to lose my kids," she told the outlet.

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Fortunately, Edmond and Valentine came up with a plan to link all the extra seatbelts on the bus together to create a rope, according to the school district statement. Then, neighbors helped form a human chain to get it to the trio in need.

"The whole ordeal lasted between 30 and 45 minutes and when it was all over, the children, their family, the fire department and all of Dallas ISD were so very happy and relieved that everyone was safe," the school district wrote.

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Despite what happened, the bus driver said she doesn't "really consider myself a hero."

"I just feel like I was doing what I needed to do at the time, and if I had to, I would do it all over again," Edmond told the school district.

Meanwhile, Gabriel, Trinity and their family are thankful for everyone who stopped to help. "It was quite an experience," Gabriel told KDFW. "I'm very grateful."

A Dallas ISD spokeswoman told KDFW that they hope to publicly recognize the bus driver and monitor at a future school board meeting.

"We have a bus evacuation training and certain protocols and processes in place for emergencies, but nothing to the magnitude that could've prepared them for this," Director of Student Transportation Angel Vales, said in the school district's statement.

Flash flooding has been devastating the South this week, affecting mostly eastern Texas and Louisiana, Today reported. With over 14 inches of rain this week alone, nine million people remain under flood watches across the South as of Friday.