RISING SUN, Md. (WJZ) — Statistics show that one of the safest forms of travel in the United States is by school bus.

That’s comforting news to parents but, as Mike Schuh reports, some students in Rising Sun found out that they needed to take their safety into their own hands.

On the way to school,  students sometimes tune out.

“I just usually lay my head on the window and listen to music,” said Jessica Dyson, Rising Sun senior.

But what happened to Jessica Dyson and 32 other students has changed that forever.

“We hit the dirt and a branch hit my window,” said Dyson.

Caleb Hollowell, a freshman, and Tristan Harris, a sophomore, sit up front and noticed something was wrong with the driver.

“He didn’t slow down to open the door for someone, and that’s when he went into the middle of the road.  And a few people started noticing what was wrong. And we reached the intersection and we were going really, really fast,” they said.

In fact, the driver was having a medical emergency.

“I tried to get up there as fast as I could and everyone’s yelling, ‘Mr. Rick, Mr. Rick,’ trying to find out what’s wrong,” said Hollowell.

He tried to push the brake with his hand and then…

“I grabbed his foot and tried to get it off the gas, and I also grabbed the wheel and tried to steer.  He fought me and we ended up going into a bunch of trees,” said Harris.

No one was hurt.

“It was almost like a dream.  I was waiting to wake up. It all hits you what happened,” they said.

Dyson and another student got everyone off the bus and took roll call.

“I think they are incredibly courageous,” said Dyson.

On Thursday, the school officer gave each of them a citation.

“So it was really quick action, and the leadership of the seniors on the bus was really impressive,” said Anne Gellrich, principal.

WJZ has learned that bus driver is recuperating after an unspecified surgery. It’s not known if he will be able to return as a driver.

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