Karson Vega doesn’t usually take the bus home from school, but after what happened on a recent ride home, his mom knows he was meant to be on it that day.
When Karson’s mom, Amber, was unable to pick him up from athletics, she told him to take the bus home. At first, it was a quiet ride – there were only six students onboard – but soon it would turn into a nightmare.
Karson noticed that the bus driver had begun to act a little strange.
“He missed a turn and went into a ditch,” Karson recalled. “Then he had to back up, that’s when I started thinking. Then he started making circles and stuff. He was going off into a ditch on almost every turn.”
Knowing something was wrong, the 13-year-old quickly went into survival mode. He called 911 and then enlisted the help of sophomore Kyler Buzcek to keep the younger kids safe and calm.
“I went and got the little kids. I told them to go to the back because they were sitting there crying and stuff. Then I told the other kid to hang onto them,” Karson said.
Noticing that the driver appeared to be weakening and realizing he wasn’t going to stop, Karson decided to take matters into his own hands. He ran to the front of the bus, jumped in the driver’s lap, and tried to get the bus under control.
“I was like, ‘No, I’m not dying,’ so I jerked the wheel,” Karson said.
“He wouldn’t take his feet off [the gas pedal] so I kicked them over a little,” he added.
Karson turned on the emergency flashers and then drove the bus a good two miles before coasting it to a stop on a bridge above the Colorado River.
“The fact that they didn’t go into the river just gives me goosebumps thinking about what could’ve been,” Amber said.
“We would’ve all died,” Karson responded. “Because he was swerving off pretty much into the river, or else we would have went off that hill too.”
Thanks to Karson’s quick response, everyone onboard the bus that day made it out safely.
The driver was taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay. The details as to the nature of his medical emergency were not available.
Karson is now being hailed a hero for what he did that day, but no one is as proud as his mom.
“I’m proud of him that he remained so calm, that he could think of what the next step was,” Amber said.
“There was a reason he was on that bus that day.”
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