GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two students are being hailed as heroes after preventing what could have been a tragic accident of a school bus.
Shaun Buerker and Ashley Celebucki received plaques for their historic efforts on January 22.
The students were riding in a school bus when the bus driver collapsed at the wheel. That’s when the two students immediately jumped in to help.
They were able to have the driver stop the bus, pressed the emergency brake, and then called 911.
“It was pretty scary but I’m glad he’s all okay,” Celebucki said.
Celebucki said she’ll never forget that morning.
“We kind of looked at each other and right away, I called, like, ‘Yeah, go stop the bus,’ and there were other students who were getting kind of worried and things,” she recalled.
Since the incident, the bus driver has been recovering from his medical condition.
“He was a great bus driver, too,” Celebucki said.
While Buerker was not able to attend the ceremony, both students were rewarded a certificate of recognition for their heroic act.
“Me and Shaun, we were talking, like, they tried to do this one other time, and we didn’t really feel like we needed to have honor for doing this,” Celebucki said. “I don’t know. It’s just something you should do.”
School officials said the students are prime examples of doing the right thing when an emergency happens.
“The students, at that instance, were able to rise to the occasion, take control, act decisively and quickly to avert a crisis,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders said.
The Guilderland Central School District requires bus safety drills three times a year so students are well prepared in case of an emergency.
“I guess pay attention when they’re doing the whole bus safety lessons and everything,” Celebucki suggested. “Make sure you know where all the exits are and make sure you know how to work the little radio.”
Both students were honored by Utica National Insurance Group. Several school officials, law enforcement, and insurance agents attended to show their support.