AKRON, Ohio — She sacrificed her life to save another.
On Saturday, people in Akron remembered Laura Zborowski, a school bus driver who was killed when she ran into harm’s way to save one of her student riders. Zborowski is being remembered as a hero.
A crowd gathered outside of Middlebury Academy on Kent Drive in honor of the 51-year old. Many young people attended, and spoke kindly of the bus driver. They used to call her ‘Miss Laura’; now they call her ‘brave.’
Described as loving, she had a friendly face day in and day out.
"She cared about the kids she drove around, and that's evident here today,” said Rich Gadus, a close family friend.
Because she made such an impact on everyone, fellow bus driver Charlynn Coleman said she needed to organize a special tribute for her friend.
“It's kind of a way to get together to show her how much we loved her,” Coleman said.
With song and prayer, the group came together.
"All of her friends, family and loved ones, people who didn’t even know her just can't believe the tragedy that struck,” said Coleman.
On Tuesday, the school bus driver was practicing evaluation drills near the school when the bus began to roll. Authorities say it nearly hit a child, but Zborowski was able to get the student out of the way.
"She was definitely a person who lived the way she died; she was a hero," Coleman said.
"It's kind of like a superhero,” said Zoe Frager, who is Zborowski’s niece.
“She was always thinking of someone else, definitely a nice person,” said Zach Frager, her nephew.
"Laura was a fighter. She just conquered breast cancer, and always was the type to put others before herself,” Gadus said.
Zborowski leaves behind a young son.
Donations to the Laura Zborowski Heroic Memorial Fund can be made at any KeyBank location.
Meanwhile, authorities say the bus’s parking brake was manually disengaged, causing the bus to roll. They are still investigating how that could have happened.