MINNEAPOLIS — A school bus driver here was honored for saving a wandering toddler he spotted at a street corner from frigid temperatures while driving one recent morning.

Lyle Silbernagle, who has driven buses for Minneapolis Public Schools for 36 years, was driving a school van at 8:30 a.m. on March 5 when he noticed the boy, who was alone and dressed only in a diaper, KSTP reports. Silbernagle told the news source that he quickly pulled over and got out of the van, wrapped the boy up in his coat, placed him in the front seat of the van, and called his supervisors and police. He also pointed the van’s vents at the boy and turned on the heat, rubbing the boy’s hands and talking to him while they waited for help to arrive.

KSTP reports that the temperature was 4 degrees Fahrenheit that day, and with the windchill, it felt like minus 12 degrees Fahrenheit, placing the boy at risk of hypothermia or frostbite. The police report stated that the boy had to climb down several flights of stairs, traverse an icy sidewalk and cross a busy street to get to where Silbernagle found him, FOX 9 reports. Police told FOX 9 that the boy was examined at the hospital and is OK, and that the incident is being investigated as a child neglect and endangerment case.

Silbernagle was recognized for his quick actions at a recent school board meeting, according to KSTP. Ed Graff, the superintendent for the school district, said that the boy “was unharmed and in good hands” because of Silbernagle. Silbernagle said at the meeting that he was “just there at the right time, doing what you're supposed to do."

About the author
Nicole Schlosser

Nicole Schlosser

Former Executive Editor

Nicole was an editor and writer for School Bus Fleet. She previously worked as an editor and writer for Metro Magazine, School Bus Fleet's sister publication.

View Bio