Imagine, if you will, standing with your kids and waiting for the school bus to swing by, as you would on any typical school day, when you see the bus coming -- and then rolling right past you and not showing any sign of stopping ... at all. Then your daughter looks up at you and says, "Mom, something's not right with our bus driver!"
What would you do? Me? I'm afraid I'd just freeze in terror. But that's not what one fast-thinking Albuquerque mom, Rhonda Carlsen, did. She tells local news station KOAT that she ran after the bus, which was filled with terrified kids on their way to elementary school. Through the window, she could see the driver was having a seizure.
Still running alongside, she gestured for a third grader inside to swing open the bus door. Once the doors were opened, she hopped inside while the bus was still moving, hit the brakes, and switched off the ignition, stopping the bus and saving the kids.
The driver was taken to the hospital, and the first thing he did when Carlsen went to visit him was ask about the kids, which is nice. Yet from a parent's perspective, the whole episode is simply terrifying.
Did the driver have a condition that he knew could lead to seizures? And if so, did the bus company or school district know? Yes, accidents can happen anytime, to anyone. I imagine it's just as likely to happen to a parent driving their kid to school as to a driver transporting a busload of children. But still, every parent who puts their kid on a bus and waves goodbye takes a leap of faith -- that the driver will stay healthy and careful and have good luck with other cars on the road and get the kids safely to school. A story like this, well, it conjures fears we keep hard to keep at bay.
But thank goodness, at least, for quick-thinking heroes like Carlsen -- and the brave third-grader who helped her save the day. It's nice to think that the terrifying "what ifs" can still have a happy ending.
What do you think of what Carlsen did?
Image via KOAT Albuquerque