Heroic School Bus Driver Evacuates 38 Students from Bus Just Before it Bursts Into Flames

Heroic School Bus Driver Evacuates 38 Students from Bus Just Before it Bursts Into Flames

A North Carolina bus driver is being celebrated as a hero after she quickly acted to evacuate dozens of students when she smelled smoke.

Moments later, the school bus was engulfed in flames while the driver and 38 children were safely outside.

The blaze ended up torching the entire bus but no injuries were reported.

According to WNCN-TV, bus driver Monica Tyson-Crawford was driving her route Tuesday morning near the community of Sanford in Harnett County.

She smelled smoke and immediately stopped the bus about a half mile short of its final destination — Benhaven Elementary School.

A woman named Karra Reyan, whose child attends the school, told WNCN she saw the aftermath of what was a potentially life-threatening fire.

Reyan thanked the driver for working to ensure no children were onboard the bus, which was identified as a 2016 Freightliner Thomas Built Bus.

“Thank you so much for everything you did today,” the woman said.

She added, “You’re a hero for Harnett County schools today, and probably any school district out there. You did a great job of getting those kids to school safely today.”

The school district also posted a message to the driver on its Facebook page.

“We are grateful for school bus driver, Monica Tyson Crawford for safeguarding our students!” the district said. “Thanks to her quick and decisive actions, all 38 students made it to school safe and sound.”

Meanwhile, two district administrators also praised Tyson-Crawford for her quick thinking.

School board member Sharon Gainey said, “As a grandparent of school-aged children who ride a bus, I’ll say I am very thankful for the quick action of the bus driver and the safety of all the students.”

Gainey concluded, “Harnett County is fortunate to have such dedicated bus drivers.”

School board member Bradley Abate told WNCN the driver is “an absolute hero.”

“This morning, a scary situation for students and families alike occurred on a Benhaven Elementary School bus when it caught fire and burned the entire passenger compartment out,” Abate said in a statement.

Abate concluded:

“Our driver is an absolute hero and looked after each and every one of the kids on that bus. Our driver smelled smoke, pulled over, and ushered the kids to safety.

“Without our driver’s quick thinking and heroic actions, this definitely could have ended very differently. God was certainly looking over these kids and driver this morning.”

Investigators with the district and with the Benhaven Fire Department for now, do not believe the vehicle had any engine trouble.

Fire Chief Andy Thomas and other investigators are looking at a potential electrical short as the reason the bus went up in flames.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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