Cape Girardeau student called a hero after bus driver passes out

Cape Girardeau student called a hero after bus driver passes out
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - A 12-year-old's quick thinking ends a nightmarish ride on a Cape Girardeau school bus. School leaders, parents and students call that young girl a hero today but what led to the near disaster is a mystery.
Laidlaw bus representatives say the driver appears to have lost consciousness as he drove ten children home Monday. He's still in the hospital undergoing tests, but no one knows what the problem is. Thanks to Shelby Davis, however, all 10 kids got off the bus safely.
You can tell Shelby's smart just by talking to her, now she can add street smart to her resume. It all happened as Shelby rode the bus home from school with her friends. As the driver rounded a hill leading up to Shelby's house, something happened to him. "He wouldn't wake up. We were rolling downhill, and all of a sudden the bus stops, and it was like he woke up, but then it went down more. Everyone started crying, and I was crying too - it was scary," Shelby says.
As the bus rolled towards a creek, Shelby ran up to the front. "I always drive my dad's car so I know where the brakes are and stuff - so I just put my foot over him, pressed the brake down and turned the key. The door opened, I yelled at everybody and they came out. I was just thinking I wanted to get off the bus. I don't know why I did it; I just did it cos I knew that the bus had to stop or we would all have went into the creek I just thought and acted," she says.
Now everyone's calling her quick thinking and her actions, heroic. "We were glad to have her on the bus - she was able to get to the brake and stop the bus so other children could get off safely," she says.
"I'm just happy everybody's safe. The kids on the bus were my friends, and I didn't want to see them get hurt."
School Superintendent Dave Scala tells me he hopes to recognize Shelby's efforts soon - and she's excited about that.
Incidentally, Shelby wants to work in a hospital ER someday, and something tells me she would be good at it.
Laidlaw bus representatives say the driver of the bus is in his seventies, and had just been on the job for four days. They say he passed all his physical tests and drug screenings, so they just don't know why he passed out.