“Don’t do it,” said his friend in a hushed voice. His eyes widened as he worried about what Troy was up to.
But when they moved back on the seat, he knew something was wrong. Beside them two girls ran down their cheeks with tears. Troy knew what to do, he took his bag.
Different from the norm
At Bonita Elementary, the children lined up on the sidewalk. School day was over now and the kids just wanted to go home, the bus doors opened as the kids piled up.
The bus vibrated with laughter and chatter from the children. It was a normal average day, but then Troy looked up at the driver’s seat, there was something out of the ordinary.
Usually her bus driver was a man, but when Troy looked at the person behind the wheel, he realized it was an older woman.
She didn’t seem as friendly as the normal bus driver. She ignored the children and just looked straight ahead with a frown on her lips. This was the first replacement driver, but Troy noticed a smell as he passed by.
Troy took his seat near the back of the bus, but didn’t take his eyes off the older woman behind the wheel.
It was behavior only an older brother would have – like one with so many siblings. The woman’s hair was thin and withered, and she was holding the steering wheel with her bony knuckles.
They stopped at the first drop off point as usual. But when it was time for her second stop, the woman didn’t even slow down, they just drove on.
The child whose grip looked around in confusion. When they missed their fourth stop, everyone on the bus wondered if they would drive one. Where did they go
The children noticed that the right curb was getting closer, then the left curb. It went back and forth between the two sides of the street.
Troy hadn’t taken his eyes off the woman driving. She drove recklessly and dangerously. He felt a lump in his stomach and knew he had to do something. “You’re going to get in trouble,” said his friend as he pulled him back into his seat.
The children heard the horns of cars behind them when the bus was two-lane.
Then the children felt a sudden change when the bus suddenly stopped and most of the children threw forward onto the seats in front of them. Troy felt the seat hit him hard. Then he heard the crying from the seats around him.
The bus was moving just as quickly as they had stopped, and the surroundings of the bus, including the trees and buildings, soon became blurry as they sped past them.
The bus was now turning onto the freeway, every child’s face full of fear, while the woman had the same emotionless look she had when Troy got on the bus for the first time.
Put under pressure
It was then that Troy remembered something his mother had told him. He knew what he was going to do and he reached for his backpack.
“Stop!” His friend said, “I don’t want to get in trouble!” Others around him gave the same warning. The bus started to vibrate as it got faster and faster. Troy knew this was very dangerous.
Troy took his cell phone out of his backpack and dialed 911. The operator on the other end asked him quietly what was going on.
Troy was hastily telling them everything when he looked out the window to find out where they were. Soon Troy heard the sound of sirens and reassurance.
Several police cruisers caught up with her, but the woman didn’t seem to notice.
Only when she was surrounded and they heard angry instructions over a loudspeaker did the bus finally slow down and stop … when another child was dropped off. Officers ran towards the bus.
The first policeman threw open the bus doors, jumped up the stairs and grabbed the dazed, shaggy woman.
The children heard the click of handcuffs, the scuffle of their feet, and a series of angry words that they were not allowed to repeat. The smell disappeared when it was pulled out.
The kids may not have heard the last story, but the parents certainly did – and they were all angry.
It turned out that the regular driver didn’t show up for work. Karolyn Denise Ray was the deputy who was brought in by a subcontractor … and she had used illegal drugs. Your punishment?
A charge of “driving under the influence of a controlled substance and endangering the well-being of children,” reported CBS Sacramento.
The school district has also looked at other options for a new bus service. Details of prison terms, etc., have been kept secret as it is an ongoing investigation. One thing is certain, however.
Troy’s actions may seem simple, but they are indeed heroic.
He discovered a problem, decided to act despite others telling him not to, and remained calm enough to provide the necessary details. It goes without saying that his mother and the whole family are very proud of him. The rest of the parents too.