Two Missouri students were honored Friday at a high school football game for stopping a runaway school bus after the driver passed out, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
When a school bus taking children home suddenly drove off a rural highway near St. James, Missouri, 12-year-old Tandon Baker realized the driver had passed out and ran to the front of the bus to pump the brake and put it into park, the AP reported. Emilee Williams, 15, called the police from her phone and comforted the scared children, according to the AP.
Two Missouri students are being lauded for their actions on a school bus after the driver passed out. After the bus went through a fence, one student put his foot on the brake and put the bus in park. The other called 911 and comforted other children. https://t.co/747NDFjgj9
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 1, 2021
St. James School District Superintendent Tim Webster said he has never been “so proud of two kids,” the AP reported. “Just to be able to act that quickly and selflessly. It takes incredible courage for kids to act like that so young.” (RELATED: 5 Kids Struck And Killed At School Bus Stops In One Week- ‘Distracted Driving Plays A Huge Role’)
“There was quite a bit of open space ahead of the bus, so it definitely would have kept going,” he continued, according to the AP. “A wooded area was about 100 yards away.”
There were 25 students on the bus, most of whom were in elementary school, the outlet noted. “There were a lot of panicked little kids and she kind of looked around the bus and was making sure everybody was calm,” Webster said of Emilee, according to the AP.
The bus driver was reportedly airlifted from the scene and died several days after the incident. Her identity has not yet been released, and the cause of death remains unclear.
In 2018, four senior citizens were killed and numerous others injured, after a school bus barreled down a hill and struck pedestrians in Hong Kong. The brakes on the bus had failed, as previously reported.