OLYMPIA, Wash. — A school bus driver here was recognized on Monday for his quick thinking that school officials said saved lives during a recent collision, KING 5 reports.
James Bratager, who has been driving for the Olympia School District for about one year, was driving a bus with 49 students on board last month when an oncoming car suddenly veered into his lane, according to the news source. Bratager was able to swerve the bus to avoid a head-on collision and to prevent the bus from going into a ditch that runs parallel to the road he was driving on. He told KING 5 that he was “amazed” he was able to move the bus so quickly in a matter of seconds.
As a result of the collision, six of the students aboard the bus were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, and Bratager suffered a sprained thumb, the news source reports. The motorist involved in the crash is facing charges.
On Monday evening, the school district presented Bratager with a certificate in recognition of outstanding service, and the school superintendent expressed gratitude to him for keeping the students safe. Many of Bratager’s fellow drivers were there to see him accept the honor and show their support, KING 5 reports. Bratager said he just did his job and used his training when he saw that the car was headed toward the bus. He added that being a school bus driver is “the greatest job someone could have,” and that the students were heroes for staying calm.
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