TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler Legacy High School student is recalling the moment she and her classmates intervened to help their bus driver during a medical emergency.
It happened after the bus left the Career and Technology Center when students noticed the driver was slowing down and drifting.
In that moment, they knew something was wrong.
“I looked up and was like, ‘What is going on?’ And I saw that we were kind of swerving to the side and then going this way, and it was just not normal. I looked up at her face in the mirror, and I could just tell she was not there, something was wrong and she wasn’t aware of what she was doing. I immediately just went and helped her,” said Tyler Legacy senior Grace Von Eschenbach.
Grace managed to stay calm in the situation and has been in the medical program since her sophomore year. She said the training she’s received from the CTC helped her during this situation.
“Everyone was at first talking to her like ‘are you okay?’ And then I think they started to panic, like, ‘she’s not okay.’ I saw people crying, I saw people just sitting there like ‘I don’t know what to do’, people calling on the phone, and then people that did want to help,” Grace said.
Video from the bus shows some students take initiative and go help the driver, including Grace and another student, sophomore Cooper Cordell.
“When I got up there, there was another student up there and he was trying to help with the wheel to get over,” Grace said. “So, I just kind of knew to let him help with that, [I got] her hands off the wheel, because she wanted to continue to drive. Once I kind of got her hands off, we just moved the bus over to the side and pulled the break.”
While she helped get the bus to safety, Grace spoke to the bus driver. Prior to this moment, Grace had been riding her bus every single day, she said.
In addition to the student’s intervention, other buses in the convoy stepped in to help during the situation. When the bus driver behind them noticed the chaotic driving patterns, he radioed to check in.
After the bus came to a stop, another bus driver approached to help, while the others pulled up alongside the bus to block traffic.
“We have protocols in place that were followed, and because of that, everyone was safe during the entire ordeal,” Tyler ISD Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Hines said. “We are very proud of our bus drivers that did what they needed to do so we could get to the bus driver as soon as possible, we are very proud of our students that jumped into action when they saw that the driver was having a medical emergency.”
The school board plans to honor these students at their next meeting.
“The district and the school board are very proud of these students that really stepped up during this time, and we’ll be honoring them at our upcoming board meeting for their heroic efforts,” Hines said.