ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — On April 18, Krystle Cushing, a bus attendant for RichLee Vans Inc., rushed out of her bus to rescue a child who had ridden his tricycle into oncoming traffic on a six-lane highway.
Cushing, who was six months pregnant at the time, was riding with school bus driver Alex Maliwanag after their last stop of the day in a local trailer park. The 4-year-old boy was on his tricycle in the middle of the single-lane road in front of the bus. The child did not respond when the driver honked the bus’ horn to get his attention, but proceeded to pedal across two lanes of the adjoining 45-mile-per-hour highway.
Without hesitating, Cushing ran off the bus and grabbed the child off his bike as a semi truck and large van approached, having cut their engines and slammed on the brakes, coming to a stop within feet of Cushing and the boy.
Cushing remained on the scene, allowing time for police to respond and reunite the child with family members. According to the relatives, the boy had gone outside when his grandmother left him temporarily unsupervised.
Hours later, Cushing experienced premature labor contractions and was admitted to a local hospital, where she was diagnosed with a bruised pelvis and a pulled or torn muscle. After three hours of observations, she was released and sent home for bed rest, but was back at work the following week.
At a luncheon held in Cushing's honor, John Knoelke, vice president of RichLee Vans parent company Cook-Illinois Corp., presented her with a certificate of recognition and a $100 Visa gift card.