Seneca High School students: Ms. Denise reunited with her rescuers.
There was an emotional reunion between a school bus driver who had a medical emergency while behind the wheel and two of the students who helped save her.
The students are just in high school, but they knew how to react to get their bus driver the help she needed.
The emergency happened Sept. 14 while the bus was heading east on the Watterson Expressway toward Seneca High School. The Jefferson County Public Schools has released surveillance video from on the bus. While the faces in the video have been blurred, what is clear is that four Seneca students jumped in to help their bus driver when she needed it most.
The driver, Miss Denise, as her students call her, was behind the wheel when she began feeling weak. Miss Denise quickly decided to pull the bus over to the side of the interstate near Bells Lane.
“I noticed my vision began to get blurry. Started noticing six lanes instead of three on the Watterson at that point I said I need to get the bus parked, get it stopped, get it in safe location,” Miss Denise said. “The last thing I remember saying when I got contact back was ‘I can’t drive.’”
Miss Denise was able to safely pull the bus over on the side of the expressway. Now out of the hospital, she recalls what happened.
“As I was popping the air break on my right I proceeded to fall over to the left,” Miss Denise said, “that’s all I remember.”
That’s when the students stepped in to help. They used their phones to call 911. One student also used the two-way radio on the bus to get help on the way. The students laid Miss Denise down and made sure she wasn’t swallowing her tongue. They also applied water to her forehead.
“On that particular morning, you two were the real community heroes,” said Randy Frantz, the Director of Transportation at JCPS.
Then two of the students involved got to see the woman they helped save.
“I can’t thank you enough,” Miss Denise told Shikita Scott and A’Niyah Goldsberry, two of the four students present for the reunion, “and I thank God he gave you the strength and the courage to be heroic in what you did for me. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be standing here today.”
They recounted the terrifying ordeal. Holding hands.
“My Dad had passed in front of me so I was like I can’t see nobody else pass in front of me,” said Shikita, a senior. “So I had to help Miss Denise. Just felt in my heart I had to.”
Scott helped make sure that she was in a comfortable position and not swallowing her tongue.
“How happy am I? On a scale from 9 to 10? Ten,” said A’Niyah, a freshman, after being reunited with her driver.
Miss Denise won’t elaborate on exactly what went wrong that caused her to need the help from the students. But she does say that her doctor has given her the all clear to return to work. She plans to be back behind the wheel on Monday. The students say they can’t wait.
“I will never forget you guys. You are now my family,” Miss Denise told Shikita and A’Niyah.