GRUNDY COUNTY, Tenn. — A school bus driver here is being credited for her quick response after her bus was involved in a collision on Friday, News Channel 9 reports.
Police told the news source that a motorist veered into Head Start driver Faith Caldwell’s lane on a narrow stretch of Highway 108. Caldwell told News Channel 9 that she maneuvered the bus to avoid a head-on collision, but as she did, the bus spun around with the tail end extending into the middle of the road and the bus remained where it had stopped. None of the 11 Grundy County Schools students on board were injured, according to the news source. Police said that Shannon Hargis, 35, who crashed into the side of the bus, was charged with driving under the influence, News Channel 9 reports.
Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum told the news source that the crash scene could have been much worse, and Caldwell "did an excellent job" and "is a hero" for being able to pull over to the shoulder of the road, preventing a head-on crash. The bus seats were also equipped with five-point harness systems, which helped keep the students secure, according to News Channel 9.
Caldwell, who has transported preschool-aged students for more than a decade, told the news source that she’s prepared to return to her route with a replacement bus, and if her students experience any “trepidation” while on the bus they will “talk through that and get through that together.” Caldwell added that her advice to other drivers who might find themselves in this situation would be to "remain calm, be aware of your surroundings, and always remember who's on board."
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