Student steers school bus to safety

By: NBC News Email
By: NBC News Email

Jeremy Rice, 14, woke up late and almost missed the bus this morning. It's a good thing he didn't.

The high school freshman was sitting in the emergency exit row on his way to Colorado Springs Early College when his bus driver, Joe, leaned down to pick up a trashcan that had fallen at a red light.

When the light turned green, the driver tried to fasten his seatbelt while accelerating and lost control of the bus. He fell out of his seat and the bus hopped a curb, ending up in the middle of oncoming traffic.

That's when Jeremy went from student passenger to student hero.

"I sit up and I saw everyone was just staring and a semi-truck was coming right at us," Rice said.

The bus driver yelled for help. Rice was the first to react. He ran to the front of the bus, grabbed the wheel and steered it out of harm's way. The driver instructed him to pull the emergency brake.

"I think it's really cool that I got to do that. I got the opportunity to help and act before someone else," said Rice.

Rice saved 17 kids from getting hurt. For a kid who doesn't even have his driver's license, he showed some steady manuevering. He's only been behind the wheel three times.

The driver was uninjured. Colorado Springs Early Colleges administrator Keith King drove the bus the rest of the way to the school.

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