A New Carlisle, Ohio school bus driver named April Wise is being called a hero after a video went viral showing her stopping a student from getting off a bus at the last second, just as a car approached that could have hit the child.
The Tecumseh Local Schools Facebook page posted the video on Thursday, Feb. 23, crediting the driver with saving the student’s life. The school district is about 20 miles from Dayton, Ohio.
In the footage, the school bus can be seen stopping to drop a student off. Before the boy can get off the bus, the attentive driver notices an oncoming vehicle attempting to pass the bus on the right.
“Whoa, wait, wait, no! No! Stay! Stay!” the driver yelled to the boy, yanking the student back by his backpack from the door.
The driver of the passing car evidently realized what they were about to do and stopped next to the parked school bus. The student was still on board the bus and out of harm’s way.
The student’s parent gave Tecumseh Local Schools permission to post the video to “spread bus safety awareness and celebrate the driver’s actions.”
“We are feeling very grateful this evening for the alertness and quick actions of one of our amazing bus drivers,” the school district proclaimed via Facebook.
The school district went on to admonish viewers to be cognizant of school buses on the road and to never pass them when they are stopped because students could be either getting on or off.
“Today our HERO drove a big, yellow school bus!” the school district proudly declared.
Several members of the student’s family left comments beneath the video stating how grateful they were for the driver’s actions.
“This woman is OUR FAMILY HERO tonight as this was my nephew,” Amy Mendenhall commented on Facebook. “Thank you for being so aware and protecting these children. We truly appreciate and are grateful for you.”
“God bless her, our grandson, so scary to see, definitely had her eyes out for his safety,” the boy’s grandmother, Judy Mendenhall, stated. “Not enough thanks can be expressed to her for being observant and quickly stopping him. God was watching and praise her awesomeness, it is beyond deserved.”
“If he would have just got off the bus a little quicker or something, everything might have been different,” Karen Lokai, who is the Tecumseh Schools Transportation Supervisor, commented according to WHIOTV 7.
Lokai said the video gave her “chills.”
“It gives you chills to hear it and see the video and see how close you know, things happen in such a split second,” she remarked.
Transportation Secretary Lisa Heitzman was the first one to be called over the radio concerning the incident. When she heard Wise’s voice, she could tell something was really wrong. When she saw the video, she said Wise was unbelievable.
“We pulled the video and didn’t realize how close it actually was and what led to it,” Heitzman told WHIOTV 7.
Superintendent Paula Crew recounted that the student told his mother that the bus driver saved his life.
“The mom reached out to us personally to thank us and thank our team for responding to the accident [and] to thank the bus driver,” Crew reported. “She’s beyond [thankful that] her son got off the bus and came in the house when he did.”
She said incidents like this happen frequently.
“Oftentimes, almost on a daily basis, we have cars passing our school buses,” Crew said in the interview.
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