LILLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — The quick actions of a Harnett County school bus driver this week helped avoid a situation that could have been much worse.
Monica Tyson-Crawford is being hailed as a hero for getting kids off her school bus moments before it went up in flames.
“My kids on my bus, they are my babies,” Tyson-Crawford said.
She said getting her babies to safety was the only thing on her mind Tuesday morning.
“It was very scary,” Tyson-Crawford said.
The Harnett County bus driver said she was smelling smoke while en route to Benhaven Elementary School with 38 kids onboard her bus. Without hesitation, she safely pulled over and got students off, just seconds before the fire started.
“I think my adrenaline was rushing. I just knew I had to get the kids off the bus and as far away from the bus as I could,” she said.
“It all looks like it started next to the driver area which is where a lot of electronics is housed,” Uriah Parker, Transportation Director for Harnett County Schools said.
Parker said this bus has been on the road for 7 years. It gets serviced every 30 days. While this fire remains under investigation, Parker said the most important thing is Tyson-Crawford getting the kids to safety.
“Oh, I’m very proud. I’m glad that she took the kids’ safety as number one priority,” Parker said.
“It’s a lot of emotions. Even this morning I had parents give me flowers and candy and I’m driving down the road tears coming down,” Tyson-Crawford said.
Tyson-Crawford is also a teacher’s assistant at Benhaven Elementary after she finishes her bus route. It’s important to remember not all superheroes wear capes and not all queens wear crowns. Some drive a big yellow school bus.
“I was just really doing my job and it was just keeping the kids safe,” Tyson-Crawford said.
Harnett County School Board members plan to honor Crawford at their meeting on December 4.