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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  • by JB Location: GJ on Aug 31, 2012 at 01:19 PM
    The trash can could of been picked up when the bus was properly stopped. Poor judgement on the drivers part. Smart thinking for the young man. Scary that someone with little wit is driving kids to school.
  • by Crusher on Aug 31, 2012 at 07:10 AM
    First, good job on the part of the student. Two things stand out for me in this story. The driver risked wrecking a bus loaded with kids by trying to pick up a trash can. Even if he hadn't fallen, he was NOT in control of the bus while attempting something that could have waited until the bus was at a stop. Stupid move, bus driver, very stupid. Second, if the driver was wearing a seat belt, he wouldn't have fallen out of his seat. I hope his employer realizes that maybe this joker needs a desk job.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 31, 2012 at 07:01 AM
    And to think this operator had a choice--Bus Driver or Door greeter at Walmart. The flip of the coin had to rigged!
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