HAMILTON, Va. — A school bus driver here saved dozens of students from a smoking school bus last week, Loudoun Times-Mirror reports.
Michele Coates was driving her morning route when she smelled smoke and thought her bus might be catching fire, according to the newspaper. Students told her that they smelled smoke and thought they saw flames. Coates immediately pulled the bus over, made sure that all of the students aboard the bus got out safely, and even as she was taken to the emergency room for smoke inhalation, she kept asking if the students were OK. Seventeen of the students were also taken to the hospital for symptoms related to exposure to the fumes, Loudoun Times-Mirror reports.
Coates’ daughter posted a photo on Reddit of her mother laying in a hospital bed, with the caption, “My mom smiling after saving 40 kids off a burning school bus today.” The photo went viral, receiving over 1 million views on Imgur in 12 hours, according to the newspaper.
Coates told Loudoun Times-Mirror that “Your adrenaline kicks in and at that point, you don’t think of yourself, you think of saving all the children,” and that she didn’t realize that she didn’t feel well until after all the students were out of the bus and safe.
To read the full story, go here.