ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Two quick-thinking mothers and a third-grader stopped a school bus from crashing Monday morning.
Parent Rhonda Carlsen said the bus driver suffered some kind of a seizure on the way to Seven Bar Elementary School in Albuquerque.
Carlsen was waiting with her children at their neighborhood bus stop when she said the driver didn't stop and just rolled past the kids.
"It was a moving bus, and it wasn't stopping. (My daughter) she just yelled to me, 'Mom, something's not right with our bus driver,'" Carlsen said.
Carlsen said she knew something was wrong and started running alongside the bus and pounding on its door. Another mother and a student immediately called 911.
"As the bus was going, I'm running with the bus, and I could see (the driver) having a seizure," Carlsen said.
The door was shut, and the bus was full of frightened kids, but Carlsen said she made eye contact with a third-grader in the front seat. For safety reasons, the bus doors were designed to remain shut, so Carlsen said she coached the student to pull the lever.
"I just was pointing to where he could open the door, and I just said, 'Pull this open the door and grab it,'" Carlsen said.
The student opened the door, and Carlsen said she jumped onto the bus, put her foot on the brake, turned off the ignition and went to check on the driver while on the phone with 911.
"My bus driver is kind of conscious, but he's drooling at the mouth," Carlsen said in the 911 call.
Carlsen visited the bus driver at the hospital, and his family told her the first thing he asked was if the kids were all right. The children were shaken but otherwise fine.
"I'm just so thankful that it happened in our neighborhood because it could have been a lot worse if it was on a busy street, or if it happened when they got to school and kids were nearby," Carlsen said.
Carlsen said what happened was a wakeup call, and students and parents should know what to do in emergency situations.
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