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Quick-thinking 8th grader saves students on a bus after driver passes out at the wheel

An 8th grader in Wisconsin is being called a hero by the community for taking control of the school bus after the driver suffered a medical emergency. The trip started as a routine ride home from school on April 24. The bus driver joked with students as they loaded up on the bus, but things took a turn for the worse shortly after.

“As we got about 20 feet down Villard, I was looking at my phone and I looked back up and I felt the bus accelerate,” Acie Holland III, 14, told TMJ4. “And I looked at the bus driver because she went past my stop and I looked and I seen her head just go down.”

Acie quickly sprung into action, removing the driver’s foot from the gas pedal and taking control of the wheel. “I grabbed the steering wheel, then I get us to the curb and I hit the brakes close and then when we hit the curb, I turned the wheel all the way because I didn’t know where the parking brake was,” Acie told WISN.

After Acie was able to park the bus securely, he called 911. His grandmother, a registered nurse, told all the kids on the bus to call their parents. “Everybody was just like, ‘thank you’ because I saved their life,” Acie told CNN.

According to WISN, Acie saved the lives of 20 students and the bus driver.

Teen grabs wheel when driver passes out and school bus veers into traffic

“I took the wheel and straightened out the bus, then I moved her foot off the gas pedal,” said Wisconsin eighth-grader Acie Holland III.

— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 3, 2024

The driver regained consciousness shortly after and contacted the bus’s dispatch service. A safety team and an alternate driver were sent out to the location.

A big reason why Acie was so calm is even though he’s a teenager, he has had a lot of experience with cars. His father, Acie Holland II, is a certified auto technician. “It was like he was in the right place at the right time. So it was, it was meant to be for a variety of reasons, the most important being for the safety of others,” Glen Hills Middle School principal Anna Young said according to CNN.

Person of the Week: Acie Holland

After the incident, Young sent a letter to the families of the Glendale-River Hills School District, praising Acie for his heroic actions. “The Glen Hills school community could not be any prouder of Acie,” Young wrote. “The compassion and leadership that we see him exhibit daily was taken to the next level on his bus ride home yesterday. We are grateful that all of our Glen Hills students are safe and are wishing their driver a healthy recovery.”

When school let out the next day, the students chanted “AC-Hero” to celebrate the 14-year-old’s heroism. His father is proud of him as well. “He’s always been a person where he’s real quick on his feet. That’s one of my things that I know he’s capable of, not on the school bus, but just in general, being able to help someone in need,” Holland’s father told CNN. “But I am proud of what he did.”

Acie has also been celebrated by local community leaders for his actions. The mayor of Glendale recognized him in a proclamation and the Milwaukee Fire Department and the Glendale Police Department praised him for his heroics as well.

Source: Upworthy
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