Sign in
Download Opera News App

Public Safety

 

Accident

 

Road Accident

When Bus Driver Starts moving Unsteadily, One Student does the Unthinkable

When he wasn’t studying for classes at La Grange Middle School in Texas or playing after-school sports, 13-year-old Karson Vega spent most of his time learning about the thing that fascinated him most—and it might have saved his life.

As his mom, Amber Vega, said, “Karson has an obsession with anything with a motor. He’s always watching YouTube videos about how to take them apart and work on them.” That led him to make some interesting requests…

For instance, Karson constantly asked for permission to drive family vehicles through some back roads in his neighborhood; he even once drove his uncle’s 18-wheeler! Most of all, he coveted the family’s Dodge pickup. But little did anyone know that all of that experience would come in handy…

On February 1, 2020, after Karson stayed late at school to play sports, Amber realized she couldn’t pick him up. “He wasn’t real happy about it,” she recalled. Karson had no choice but to take the school bus that fateful afternoon.

Right after the bus left the school around 5 p.m., Karson could tell something was off. Though he wasn’t a regular on the bus, he knew all about cars and trucks. What was it that caught Karson’s attention?

After dropping off some students, the bus driver missed one student’s drop-off spot. Then he spent an inordinate amount of time circling back onto the busy highway 71 trying to find the spot he missed. From there, the situation worsened.

You could say everyone’s worst nightmare happened. “He started swerving, missed a turn and went into ditch,” Karson said. “Then he had to back up, that’s when I started thinking. Then he started making circles and stuff. He was going off into a ditch on almost every turn.” Uh-oh…

“I asked him what he was doing,” Karson said, “and he said he needed to go to the store. I said, ‘No, you need to take us home.'” The driver seemed disoriented, and that was dangerous in a school bus full of children. Lives were on the line.

It was obvious that the driver was having a serious medical emergency. Like Keanu Reeves in the movie Speed, Karson was going to have to play hero on a runaway bus. He hurried the younger riders, some of whom were crying, to the rear while high school sophomore Kyler Buzcek dialed 9-1-1.

Meanwhile, the driver’s maneuvering worsened. He “almost hit a few cars” before nearly toppling over a bridge and into the Colorado River, Karson said. Clearly, someone could get injured—or die—if the driver wasn’t stopped. So, the 13 year old took action.

“I was like ‘no, I’m not dying,'” Karson said, so he jerked the wheel away from the driver, who by now was nearly incapacitated. That wasn’t enough, though, because the driver’s feet were still on the pedals—and the bus was still barreling full speed down the highway!

“He wouldn’t take his feet off [the pedal],” Karson said, “so I kicked them over a little, so I could get the brake and stuff and turn the flashers on and everything.” But Karson only stepped right into another problem…

Without a safe place to pull over, Karson steered the speeding bus along the highway as Kyler kept the 9-1-1 dispatchers up to date and shielded the smaller kids from a potential impact. Would this wild ride ever end?

Eventually, Karson guided the bus to a safe place to pull over on an overpass—but only after traveling two miles while sitting on the driver’s lap. After coming to a halt, Karson smartly pulled out the bus’s stop sign.

La Grange Superintendent, Bill Wagner, affirmed Karson’s heroism. “It could have been a tragedy,” he said, “if not for the quick thinking of the students who handled the situation appropriately.” And the craziest part of it all?

Remember, Karson rarely—if ever—rode the bus home from school! That made Amber believe there was some divine intervention at work. “I think he was on that bus for a reason,” she said of her son. Karson, meanwhile, was surprisingly calm about the ordeal…

“I’m used to driving,” Karson said, before comparing the experience to sitting in the front seat of his uncle’s 18-wheeler. He said that it didn’t scare him to be behind the wheel of the bus. And he thought his heroics had earned him a little something…

“If I can handle a bus at 95 miles an hour,” Karson said, “I can handle that [Dodge] truck.” Talk about a kid with his eye on the prize! His mother was inclined to agree. “Maybe I need to rethink whether he can have the Dodge,” she said.

The driver was expected to make a full recovery, but what exactly afflicted him remained unknown. Hopefully he never suffered a similar episode behind the wheel again and he can get well soon. Luckily, Karson filled in admirably. Keanu would be proud!

It was a good thing Karson had driven so much before! He said that he looked forward to earning his driver’s license when he reached the legal driving age. But if anyone was ever going to receive an honorary license, it would be this young hero!

Content created and supplied by: Femiiyy (via Opera News )

Amber Vega Dodge Karson Karson Vega La Grange Middle School

COMMENTS

Load app to read more comments