The Short of It
A 10-year-old Tampa, Florida, boy bravely helped kids escape a school bus after the brakes failed and it drove into a lake.
A scary accident involving a school bus full of 27 young kids could have been so much worse if it were not for the actions of a quick-thinking young hero and the bus driver.
Nicholas Sierra, who is a school safety patroller in the 5th grade at Mary E. Bryant Elementary School, told ABC News about the driver, "I saw him stepping on the brakes, but the brakes weren't working and then everyone started screaming."
After hitting a sign and a tree, in what must have been a terrifying series of events, the big yellow bus drove off the road and into a lake, flipping onto its side.
But Sierra didn't panic and rush to safety. Instead, he helped the younger kids escape. He says, "I grabbed a kindergartener's arms and put her around my neck and brought her to land, and then I went back."
Sierra's stepmom, Deborah, told People.com that the boy's actions weren't surprising. "Nico's a very brave kid and he always helps everyone around him," she said. "If anyone was going to do that, you would expect it to be Nico."
The driver reportedly stayed on board until every student was safe, and claims the brakes failing was the cause of the accident, although there's not yet been an offical cause. Three sheriff's deputies also helped make sure every child was rescued and accounted for.
I am incredibly impressed by Sierra, who was likely very frightened himself in this unthinkable situation.
I can only hope that if an accident occurred while my daughter was riding to or from school, kids would help one another out, and that the driver would put the kids' safety first. Because as a group of moms at the bus stop were just saying the other morning, when we say goodbye to our children every day, we are trusting the driver, and teachers, to watch over them until they are safely back in our care.
You hope nothing bad will ever happen, but if it does, I pray for an outcome like the one in this uplifting story.