A Michigan boy who steered a school bus to safety after the driver passed out at the wheel says he leapt into action because he was the only passenger not distracted by a smartphone.
Dillon Reeves, 13, was on his way home from school when he realised that the woman driving the bus had lost consciousness.
The seventh-grader’s classmates were too busy playing on their phones to notice, but Dillon quickly sprung into action, grabbing hold of the wheel and guiding the bus to safety while telling his frightened classmates to call 911.
Dillon’s father Steve later told CBS: ‘What else are you going to do when you don’t have a phone? You’re going to look at people, you’re going to notice stuff.
‘You’re going to look out the window. It’s a very powerful lesson, maybe a change-the-world kind of lesson.’
Steve told a press conference after the event that he and his wife, Ireta, were ‘very, very proud’ of their son, ‘he is very attentive to his surroundings.’
Ireta added on Facebook: ‘Jesus had everything to do with the bravery and swift action Dillon displayed today.
‘To Dillon, it’s just another day. He has no idea the amount of people who are so proud of him today,’ she wrote.
The driver was eventually treated for an unspecified medical episode as the students were transferred to a different bus and brought home.
Speaking to CBS, Dillon said: ‘I just knew what to do at that moment. The bus was swerving off the road.’
In the report, several classmates of Dillon- who are the equivalent of year eight in the UK- said they failed to notice the emergency unfolding in front of them because they were too immersed in their electronic devices.
‘I had my AirPods in,’ one student explained.
‘I was looking on my phone’ another said, with a classmate adding ‘I was on my phone playing a little game.’
As word of Dillon’s heroic intervention started to spread, he began to garner praise online and by his school district’s superintendent.
‘The actions of the student who helped stop the bus made all the difference today, and I could not be prouder of his efforts,’ the superintendent, Robert D Livernois, said on Facebook.
‘He stood up, he assessed the situation and saw that the driver had passed out. This was an extraordinary act of courage.’
Adding: ‘He jumped up from his seat, threw his backpack down, ran to the front and grabbed the wheel and brought the bus to a stop.’
Commissioner Dwyer of the Warren Police Department also praised Dillon for his actions, inviting him down to the police station accompanied by his proud parents.
Dillon’s parents said their son’s heroic actions were reason enough to hold off on getting him a phone even more.
But when quizzed by CBS about whether his heroic actions would further delay his parent’s decision to buy him a smartphone, Dillon shrugged and said: ‘Whatever. My parents are old school.’
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