Boy, 13, steers school bus to safety

April 10, 2012 at 12:43 AM
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MILTON, Wash., April 10 (UPI) -- A 13-year-old Washington state boy who steered his school bus to safety Monday after the driver passed out, said he just didn't want to die.

Jeremy Wuitschick, a seventh-grader at Surprise Lake Middle School in Milton, jumped into action when the 43-year-old driver apparently had a medical emergency and passed out. He grabbed the steering wheel and guided the bus, which was carrying about a dozen students, to the curb where it bumped to a stop.

While another student called 911, Wuitschick and fellow student Johnny Wood, who had first-aid training, started chest compressions.

The bus driver, whose name wasn't released, was hospitalized in grave condition after suffering an apparent heart attack, Jeff Short, deputy superintendent for Fife Public Schools, said.

"I was just thinking I don't want to die," Wuitschick told the newspaper afterward. "I turned to the right. Turned to the side of the road. Took the keys out of the ignition. We started slowing down, and I said, 'Somebody call 911!'"

Wood told KIRO-TV the driver's "eyes were rolling back and I could tell it was getting harder for him to breathe."

City police Chief Bill Rhoads said Wuitschick did "a great job" getting the bus stopped and Short said both boys "did an outstanding job."

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