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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Teen Steers School Bus to Safety When Driver has a Heart Attack

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A quick thinking middle school student may have saved his classmates from serious injuries or death after the bus driver had an apparent heart attack while behind the wheel.

The seventh grader noticed the bus driver was gasping for air and frantically waving his hands in the air. Then slumped back in the seat and let go of the steering wheel. Instinctively, the student jumped out of his seat, grabbed the wheel, and steered the bus to the side of the road before pulling the keys from the ignition causing the bus to stop.

Another student took action too remembering what he had learned in a CPR class. He tried to do chest compressions, but noticed the bus driver’s eyes rolling back and his breathing was becoming more labored. Other students called 911. Although many details have not been released, the bus driver is in the hospital where he is listed in grave condition due to a heart problem. None of the students were injured.

Without your quick thinking and calmness this could have turned out to be a real tragedy! The school superintendent said the students are trained in emergency situations, including how to shut down the bus in an emergency. When asked about his heroism, the teenager said he just acted on instinct. He remembered a superhero book in which a man stopped a runaway bus by turning off the ignition.

This incident raises questions about how well kids should be trained in school bus emergencies. Obviously, school districts should not be teaching young children how to drive a school bus, but they should conduct emergency drills at regular intervals so students know what to do in the event of an accident. At a minimum, kids should know how to open the emergency door in the back of the bus and the hatch on the bus roof. Children as young as nine can learn and retain the basics of CPR although their physical strength may pose limits on the effectiveness. Teaching children even the basics of CPR can be a matter of life or death. Even if a child administering CPR does not have the physical strength, they can help others by knowing vital skills that could improve the chances of survival.

Mark Bello has thirty-five years experience as a trial lawyer and thirteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.