Driver, aide hailed as heroes after bus carrying special needs students hit by tractor-trailer
ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) — A South Carolina school bus driver and aide are being hailed as heroes following a crash involving a tractor-trailer and a school bus carrying children with special needs.
Dramatic dashcam video of the incident was released by the Greenville County School District.
The two vehicles were traveling in opposite directions when the tractor-trailer hit a pole and crossed over into oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the road, South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis told ABC News.
Four children from Sara Collins Elementary School and Washington Center in Greenville were on board the bus along with the driver and an aide. Miraculously, there was only one minor injury in the crash.
“A 10-year-old was transported for non-life-threatening injuries,” Hovis said.
In the video, aide Carletta Cyrus is seen checking on the children soon after the crash, as is the driver, Tammy Cummings.
Cummings advised the children to stay on board the vehicle and consoled them, joking with one of the students about a video game he had on his phone, according to Adam James, the director of transportation for the Greenville County School District.
Cummings is no stranger to crisis, James said. She is also the school bus safety trainer for Greenville County Schools.
“What we see is training going into action. They did exactly what they’re trained to do. For us, it validated the training,” James told ABC News. “The driver saw what had happened ahead of her and had she not stopped the bus when she did, I believe it could’ve been a lot worse.”
James said the school district transports 27,000 children daily, covering 41,000 miles a day. He called Cummings and Cyrus’ actions heroic.
“I would call both of them heroes,” James said. “We’ve heard from each parent on that bus. One mother in particular, she just couldn’t thank the driver enough calling her a hero and thanking us for the training.”
The driver behind the wheel of the tractor-trailer has been charged with driving left of center, Hovis said.
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