CHOWCHILLA, Calif. — The school bus driver who helped lead 26 children to safety after their bus was hijacked by kidnappers in 1976 has passed away at the age of 91, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Frank Edward Ray died Thursday of complications of cirrhosis of the liver, according to his granddaughter.

Ray and the children he was transporting were kidnapped by armed masked men who blocked the road the bus was traveling on with a van. The kidnappers buried Ray and the children in a moving van in a quarry. After 16 hours, Ray and the students managed to escape.

Frederick Woods and brothers Richard and James Schoenfeld were charged with the kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison. As previously reported, Richard Schoenfeld is currently seeking parole.

To read the full Los Angeles Times story, click here.

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