Student's quick thinking saves lives

Posted on April 1, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An 11-year-old boy has been hailed as a hero after he prevented a bus from crashing into trees and landing in a creek when the driver fell from her seat.

As the bus headed down an embankment, Kirk Mathis Jr. stood up in the empty driver’s seat and forced his weight on the brakes below. Authorities said his quick thinking may have saved 47 lives.

The incident occurred after a fight broke out on the bus. The driver reportedly unbuckled her seat belt as she turned a corner and slid from her seat to the floor. The bus turned off the road and ended up about 50 feet down the embankment.

No one was seriously injured.

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