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Destined to be great? 13-year-old grabs wheel, saves school bus

April 10, 2012|By Rene Lynch

Remember this name: Jeremy Wuitschick. The 13-year-old from Milton, Wash., is being hailed as a hero and, when you hear his story, you'll have no doubt that the kid is destined to do great things.

He already has.

Wuitschick was one of dozens of students on his way to Surprise Lake Middle School, about 30 miles south of Seattle, on Monday morning when he noticed that the bus driver "starts acting all funny. His eyes are bulging. He's twisting in his chair," Wuitschick told KCPQ-TV. The bus then began veering off the road. 

Surveillance video shows Wuitschick springing into action, sprinting to the driver's side and taking control of the wheel. After steering the bus back onto the pavement, Wuitschick brought the vehicle to a safe stop, yanked the keys out of the ignition and opened the door so kids could evacuate.

Several schoolchildren can be heard screaming during the brief ordeal, which took place on the first day back to school after Easter recess. Many used their cellphones to call 911 to report the incident.

Before help could arrive, a Good Samaritan who saw the commotion stopped and provided CPR to the driver, according to KCPQ. The Associated Press reports that the bus driver is in "grave" condition.

Deputy schools superintendent Jeff Short told the news service that students review emergency procedures regularly, including what to do if a bus driver is incapacitated.

Short and police Chief Bill Rhoads gave everyone on board an A+ -- especially Wuitschick, whose grace under pressure helped keep all the students safe, and prevented the school bus from hitting any other vehicles.

"We're just happy the kid was thinking on his feet," Rhoads told the news service.

As for Wuitschick, he wishes he could have done more. He said he plans to learn CPR so he'll be better prepared when another emergency situation strikes.

"When something major happens, I always look back to see what I could have done better," he said.

See what we mean? Remember that name: Jeremy Wuitschick.

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