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article imageBoy, 13, takes over bus after driver loses consciousness

By Leigh Goessl     Apr 11, 2012 in Lifestyle
Milton - A quick-thinking 13-year-old boy jumped behind the wheel of a school bus on Monday after the driver experienced a medical emergency and passed out.
Students were on the morning bus on the ride to Surprise Lake Middle School in Milton, Wash. when the bus driver suddenly slumped in his seat and lost consciousness just outside school grounds.
As the bus began to sway and go out of control, one of the seventh graders quickly took action.
According to King 5 News, Jeremy Wuitschick's fast reaction helped bring the bus and its occupants to safety. As he noticed what was occurring, he leaped from his seat and ran to the front of the bus to take control of the wheel, and had also tried to do chest compressions on the driver.
“I ran up, grabbed the wheel … I turned it to the right, took it on the side of the road, took the keys out of the ignition. Bus started slowing down. I’m like ‘Somebody call 911’ and they did. Then Johnny Wood came up and he’s like ‘I know CPR," King 5 News reported.
Wood, trained in first aid by the Red Cross, began to do CPR on the bus driver.
"I ran up and tried doing chest compressions, but his eyes were rolling back and I could tell it was getting harder for him to breathe," Wood told KIRO-TV.
The surveillance video on the bus shows the driver slumping and losing consciousness in what media reports have described as possibly being a heart attack or seizure. Students began to yell to call 911 and "Stop the bus!"
“The bus driver is acting all funny,” Wuitschick told KIRO-TV. “He’s shaking. His arms are flailing. His eyes are bulging, and he’s making weird rasping noises with his mouth.”
Milton Police had received several calls about the bus and were on the scene quickly.
The News Tribune reported Jeff Short, deputy superintendent for Fife Public Schools, said the (unnamed) 43-year-old bus driver is in "grave" condition and has been admitted to a Tacoma-area hospital.
The 12 students on the bus were uninjured.
Despite Wuitschick's age, which is not old enough to possess a driver's license, reportedly he has had a bit of navigating experience behind the driver's wheel. His mother lets him back the car out of the driveway when he washes it. People reported Jeremy said, "Don't tell my dad that."
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