Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
alert-–-southport-bus-incident:-aquinas-college-student-steers-packed-bus-to-safety-after-driver-passes-out-behind-the-wheelAlert – Southport bus incident: Aquinas College student steers packed bus to safety after driver passes out behind the wheel

A teenage girl has been hailed a hero after she steered a school bus to safety when the driver suffered a suspected heart attack behind the wheel.

The bus was transporting students from Aquinas College Southport when it crashed into a median strip and came to a stop near the intersection of Southport Nerang Road and Olsen Avenue at Southport on the Gold Coast on Monday afternoon.

Horrified teens on the bus reported that the 70-year-old male driver cried out and clutched his chest before becoming unresponsive.  

Emergency responders have praised the ‘brave and courageous’ actions of the 15-year-old girl in the moments after the driver’s medical episode. 

The girl brought the bus to a safe stop on the busy road after passing through a congested intersection.

‘She removed his foot from the accelerator and his hands from the steering wheel and she kept the bus straight as it slowed down.’ Queensland Ambulance Service operations supervisor John Nolan said

‘(The driver) lost consciousness for a period of time and a 15-year-old girl came to his aid.’

Around 25 students were on board the bus at the time, with no injuries reported.

He said the girl was ‘a little bit flustered’ and some of the students on the bus were quite emotional after the incident. 

 ‘It was a very brave and very courageous thing for her to do and she has saved all her fellow school mates from any harm,’ Mr Nolan added.

‘Some teachers arrived soon after and walked the students back to school but all those students are safe because of her actions and she should be very proud.’

The school has praised the actions of students and staff involved.

‘This afternoon an Aquinas College school bus containing students from the College was involved in an accident outside our grounds,’ Aquinas College principal Marcus Richardson said in a statement.

‘Fortunately, no one was hurt, and all students safely returned to the college.

‘I would like to commend the actions of the students and staff involved today to ensure that all members of our school community remained safe.

‘As a College, our primary concern remains the safety, wellbeing, and support of students.’

Counselling will be provided to students distressed by the incident. 

The bus driver was rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious condition. 

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