A school bus ride that could have ended in fiery death for three students instead ended with them safe at home thanks to the heroism of Shuronda Richardson, the West Georgia Neighbor reports.
Richardson has driven for Georgia’s Douglas County school district for seven years. She has always gotten her students to and from school safely.
Near the end of her day late last week, she sat in traffic with three of her students behind her.
Out of nowhere, a Chevrolet S-10 truck slammed into the side of her bus with enough force to lift the bus from the ground. After time in the air, the bus fell on top of the S-10’s hood.
The Chevrolet had been sent screaming into the side of Richardson’s bus by a nearby two-car accident.
Richardson did her best to calm down her young charges, making sure everyone was okay. As she peeked out of her window to check on the person inside the Chevy, she noticed smoke rising from the truck.
In that moment, Richardson told FOX 5, “I could only think about the kids. They’re my babies — they’re like my own.”
Reacting immediately, but keeping a calm demeanor so as not to frighten the children, Richardson ushered all three of her students as the smoke began to fill her bus.
Just a few minutes after she’s evacuated her students, both the Chevy and the bus burst into flames.
Richardson said she was “so proud” of her students who “did exactly what they were supposed to do” and are “my heroes.”
“They stood together, waited for me to get off, because I had to check the bus to make sure there were no students, even though I knew there wasn’t, you still have to double check.”
As the fire department swooped in to get the fires put out, Richardson was called a hero.
She waived off the title, however. “I’m not a hero at all … those kids did what we taught them, and they’re the heroes.”
She also said she’d simply done what she had been trained to do, that it was her job to not “think about herself” but to “think about the kids” who were “frantic.
Her boss, Transportation Coordinator Maria Life, begs to differ about Richardson’s hero status.
“I’m so proud of her,” Life said. “I would love to have 1,000 drivers like her.”