Two quick-thinking teachers in South Carolina are being credited with saving the lives of a school bus full of children after the driver fell out of his seat.
Students from Pinckney Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., were returning from a field trip on Dec. 4 when the bus driver approached a stop sign at an intersection going too fast.
“Somebody said, ‘Stop sign, stop!,’” said fourth-grade teacher Amy Ryan. “You could tell the bus driver was going too fast to stop.”
The driver, who was not identified, was not wearing a seat belt. As he attempted to make a left-hand turn at the intersection, he was thrown from his seat.
“The bus driver kind of overturned. It felt like we were going to tip,” Ryan said.
As the driver lay on the floor of the bus, another teacher, Lee Morris, stepped up to grab the steering wheel.
“Because of the curve [and] turn of the wheels, we came back out of the ditch, but that’s when I jumped up and grabbed the wheel to keep going down the road straight,” said Morris.
Surveillance video from aboard the bus shows Morris at the wheel of the bus while Ryan comes forward to slam on the brakes, bringing the bus to a stop.
“I asked Mr. Morris if he could reach the brake. He said, ‘No,’” Morris recalled. “So I jumped in and stopped the bus.”
“The experience was terrifying,” she said.
No one was injured in the accident.
Charleston County School District officials say the driver was cited for speeding and for not wearing a seat belt. He is also no longer employed by the school district, according to local ABC affiliate WCIV.