When a bus driver in Canada inexplicably fell unconscious, one fast-acting passenger stepped up to save the day and steer the bus to safety.
Rebecca Powley and her son were two of 47 passengers aboard a bus bound for Toronto on Thursday. The bus was cruising along Highway 401 in Ontario when the bus driver suddenly became incapacitated.
“We saw his arm was kind of drooped on the floor,” Powley recalls. “He was passed out with his head on the wheel. For a second, I thought he was maybe dead.”
When the passengers near the front of the bus noticed the bus driver slumped over, there was great panic. One passenger yelled out if anyone knew how to drive a bus. That’s when Powley, who was sitting four rows back, answered the call.
“I went up and took his foot off the gas and steered the bus onto the right-hand shoulder out of traffic,” says Powley. “I had to put my hand on the brake cause he was in the seat. It was a little crazy.”
The bus was traveling between 25 and 30 miles in heavy traffic. Had the circumstances been different or Powley not reacted so quickly, the runaway bus could have caused serious damage.
“It could’ve been a lot worse if that woman hadn’t stepped in when she did,” said OPP Const. Robert Knight. “All of those people on that bus should thank her.”
The bus driver regained consciousness a few minutes after Powley pulled the bus over. He’s consulting with his doctor to find the reason he passed out before he returns to work. Another bus driver was sent to finish the drive, so Powley, her son, and the other passengers eventually made it safely to Toronto.
To thank her for her heroics, Powley has been offered free bus rides for life. However, Thursday was actually her first time on a bus in 25 years. She isn’t sure when she’ll ride a bus again.
[Images via cbc.ca]