Nine high school students prevented a potentially serious accident when their bus driver passed out at the wheel.
While riding the bus home on Tuesday with eight other students from Williamsville North High School in Williamsville, N.Y., sophomore Jessica Ireland felt the vehicle slow down. She walked to the front and saw that the driver, who is in his 70s, was unconscious.
“I ripped out my earbuds, I stood up and I screamed, ‘The bus driver passed out!’ and I pulled the parking brake,” Ireland told WKBW. The teen remembered both moves from school-bus-safety and CPR classes because she was focused that day.
Ireland checked his pulse and shook the driver to wake him, with Isabella Custodi, a sophomore and Madelyn Greco, a freshman helping, according to WIVB. Freshman Tom Schwartz called 911. A student told WKBW that the bus, on Cottonwood Drive in Getzville, was dangerously close to a tree and other cars.
Responding firefighters from the Getzville Fire Company extolled the kids for acting fast, and the driver is reportedly doing OK. “It’s amazing to see their team effort,” Principal Andre Thomas told WKBW. “…I’m very proud of them all.”
On Friday, the school held a pizza party for the kid heroes. “Honestly, all of you guys stayed so calm,” Ireland said, according to WIVB. “It was a lot more helpful that you guys weren’t screaming and panicking and crying. It was an adventure.”
The school, the fire station and bus company Student Transportation of America were unavailable for comment.
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