As Bus Driver Dies, Teen Takes The Wheel And Saves Kids
A 16-year-old New York girl is being hailed as a hero after stopping a bus Tuesday with nine children on board when the driver suddenly died.
"I just did what I had to do," said Rachel Guzy, a camp counselor from the Magic Carpet Day Camp in Bayside, Queens, in an interview with the New York Daily News. "Everything went through my mind. I worried about the kids. I worried about the driver. I knew I had to react."
The Daily News reported that Ramon Fernandez, 59, was driving kids -- ranging in age from 7 to 16 -- home around 4:30 p.m., following an afternoon of bowling in Flushing, Queens. He complained about feeling hot and pulled over so Guzy could get him some water.
After getting the water, according to the paper, Fernandez continued driving with the door of the bus open because of the heat. Seized by what authorities say was a heart attack around 4:40 p.m., Fernandez collapsed and rolled out the open door as the bus continued to move toward an intersection.
The paper reported that Guzy, who doesn't even have a learner's permit, jumped into the driver's seat and pulled the emergency brake -- slowing the bus before it crashed into a minivan.
"If not for Rachel, we could have been dead or in the hospital," said 12-year-old camper Artemis Sacremone.
Brett Tawil, the owner of the Magic Carpet Day Camp, called the incident a tragedy, but Guzy a hero.
"You can only hope a counselor acts like she did," he told the Daily News.
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