Hero bus driver escorts kids before Metra hits the bus
ORLAND PARK, Ill. – A school bus stalled on the train tracks at Orland Park on Friday afternoon and was hit by a Metra train.
The crash happened at 167th and 109th Avenue.
At approximately 2:40 p.m., the Orland Fire Protection District responded to an emergency call when the bus stalled on the tracks.
Fire Chief Michael Scholfield said there were no injuries thanks to the bus driver, who quickly escorted the five children off the bus to safety minutes before the Metra train crashed into the bus.
The kids on the bus were from St. Michael’s in Orland Park.
“The investigation we conducted shows that the driver stopped on the tracks as needed to do so, but when she put the bus in motion to cross, the bus stalled with the front of the bus at the above the rails,” Schofield said. “The door lowered over the bus and the driver then quickly escorted the five children off the bus to safety minutes before the METRA train hit the front of the bus.”
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“When everyone’s doing what they’re trained to do, nobody gets hurt. We’re very grateful for that,” Schofield added.
Among the students on the bus were Ava Gentile, 12, and her two brothers. Ava says the bus driver, Ms. Sue, quickly got them to safety.
“We all ran off the bus. I got Jeremy and Joshua, the neighbor, and just told them to get off the bus and go away,” Ava said.
“Just to walk up and see all three of them was a relief. They were all moved, very upset. I saw Ms. Sue. I approached her, hugged her . I just thanked her for her response, her actions,” said the children’s father, Marc Gentile.
Metra is investigating the incident.