A Texas middle school student drove the school bus he was riding on to safety after the driver had a medical emergency (video below)
Karson Vega, 13, says he was taking the bus home from LaGrange Middle School with six other students on Feb.1 when the driver started driving erratically, reports KXAN.
"He was going off in the ditch almost every turn, and then he started driving and swerving and stuff," Karson recalls. "I noticed something was wrong."
Without a moment's hesitation, Karson reportedly ran to the front, jumped onto the bus driver's lap, and got behind the wheel.
"I was like "no, I’m not dying", so I jerked the wheel," he said.
"He wouldn’t take his feet off [the pedal] so I kicked them over a little, so I could get the brake and stuff and turn the flashers on and everything," the student added.
In the meantime, sophomore Kyler Buzek comforted the younger children while calling 911.
The teenager managed to drive for about two miles down to a bridge that crosses the Colorado River before safely stopping the vehicle, thus allowing emergency responders to get on board.
Asked if he was scared to drive, Karson said no. He explained he loves automobiles and his family has let him practice driving on back roads.
"I'm used to driving," he said.
"My uncle let me drive his 18-wheeler, so it’s pretty much the same thing," he added.
After rushing the sick bus driver to the hospital, he is now in recovery.
Karson and the other students are now being lauded as heroes.
"You can't foresee something like this," Superintendent William Wagner said. "This is my 41st year in education, never experienced anything like this. I hope I don't have to again, but I'm just very proud of our students, because in critical situations it takes people to step up, and they did."
News of the incident soon captured national attention, impressing many across the country.
"Absolutely well done young man you definitely deserve a medal for what you did," another added in the Daily Mail's comments section, referring to Karson. "Not only did you save the driver and the school bus but you also saved all those other children on that school bus with you.But most of all you should be very proud of yourself."
"Wow!" exclaimed one person in KXAN's comments section. "La Grange has some real heroes! Without their quick thinking and keeping their cool under pressure, we could be reading a very different and very tragic story."
They continued, praising both Karson as well as Kyler.
"That was a very frightening moment for everyone onboard," they said of the boy. "It takes a very mature person to step up like that and reassure everyone. That's a sign of a good leader."