7th grader grabs wheel of school bus after driver fell unconscious
FOX 2 (WJBK) – Warrren Consolidated Schools released video showing the tense moments where 7th-grade hero Dillon Reeves took the wheel of his school bus after the driver fell unconscious on Wednesday.
Video shows the driver nod off about 50 seconds in, Dillon enters the frame shortly after and gabs the steering wheel, while applying the brake – guiding the bus to a safe stop on Masonic Boulevard near Bunert Road. Superintendent Robert Livernois said at that point the bus was beginning to veer into what would have been oncoming traffic.
“Someone call 911. Now,” he shouted calmly to others aboard the bus as students begin to yell and panic in the background. The bus, which holds about 66 passengers, was full at the time.
Livernois said the driver had already alerted the transportation base that she was not feeling well and was going to pull over, which he believes helped in the district’s preparedness. He said Dillon was five rows behind the driver and seconds later, noticed the driver had passed out.
“In my 35-plus years of education, this was an extraordinary act of courage and maturity on his part,” Livernois said. “He ran to the front of the bus, grabbed the steering wheel and brought the bus to a stop in the middle of the road.
“And he had the wherewithal to push the brake down slowly – likely in anticipation that the bus was full of passengers.”
Livernois said that two Good Samaritans assisted during the emergency. Once the bus stopped, one passerby who was walking came aboard and assisted Dillon with the driver. A second person, a woman driving behind the bus, stopped and helped the students off the bus using the rear door.
Livernois said the driver is still hospitalized and that they are waiting to receive drug test results.
At a press conference Thursday, Dillon did not speak but his parents addressed the media and expressed how proud they were of their son.
“I asked him how did you know what to do,” his mom said. “He said that he watches her drive everyday.”