Hero teenager steers school bus to safety, saving children on board

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PELL CITY, Alabama — He’s a true hero. An Alabama high school student was recently honored for doing something very brave.

When a school bus driver collapsed behind the wheel, Pell City High School senior Jesse Frank, jumped into action.

He immediately called 911, and took control of the bus, steering it to safety and bringing it to a stop. As soon as help arrived, he calmed the younger students, even allowing them to call their parents from his cell phone, Pell City Mayor Bill Pruitt said.

The mayor said most of the students on the bus that day were elementary students.

“Thanks to divine intervention, Pell City High School senior Jesse Frank previously made a last-minute decision to ride the bus. His reason for riding that day was to help another student who was struggling with speaking English,” Mayor Pruitt wrote on the city’s Facebook page. Pruitt went on to say, “Jesse is a hero to all of those children and their families, and he is certainly a hero to us. When asked for a comment, Jesse said that he didn’t think what he had done was really that big of a deal at the time. I don’t guess you would when helping others is just part of who you are.”

Jesse received a key to the city. He told WIAT that all of this attention is very unexpected.

“It gives me an expectation to meet, in a good way. Now that eyes are on me, in a manner of speaking, I feel like I’ve got to represent myself.”

The bus driver who suffered a medical emergency is expected to make a full recovery.