ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Thursday, the Wayne Central School Board took time out of its meeting to acknowledge the heroic acts of the students and staff that survived the fiery bus crash that led to one person dead.
22 students and three staff members were met with warm embraces, plaques, flags, and certificates to show appreciation and gratitude for their brave acts.
Just two weeks ago, a bus of students, teachers and staff members of the Wayne Central School District were on the way back to the school from a normal field trip — when the unexpected happened.
A Subaru driver crashed into the bus causing both vehicles to catch on fire.
The driver and his dog unfortunately didn’t survive, but everyone on the bus exited safely.
The Wayne Central School Board honored each of them for their acts. President of the board Steve Gallaher says the transition back to school for the students has been steady thanks to the help of the community.
“They’ve reached out to the schools, to the students, we had people donate calculators, backpacks because these kids whatever they had on the bus was all gone they lost everything that was on that bus,” President Gallaher said. “Phones, computers everything.”
He adds that the community in webster has also been a huge help. As soon as they got word of the incident, they donated a bus to the school.
One of the staff members who got her own banner of support was the bus driver who helped guide the students to safety. She says she’s humbled by the experience.
“Since the accident two weeks ago friends, family, doctors, coworkers, and complete strangers have called me a hero,” Bus Driver Deb Hibbard said. “It sounds cliche and I’m not trying to minimize what happened by any means. I did my job that afternoon, it’s what we train to do, everyone.”
Hibbard ended with a positive note.
“Life is short. It’s never guaranteed, so be kind, be a good person, and continue to be there for each other,” Hibbard said. “Thanks.”
A spokesman for Congresswoman Tenney says she plans on submitting this story to the congressional record so this moment can be seen and remembered in D.C.
Not all students were in attendance to receive their awards but will receive them at a later time.