Dillon Reeves — a student at Lois E. Carter Middle School in Warren, Michigan — quickly and calmly grabbed the bus’ steering wheel and engaged brake during his ride home from school after he noticed the driver had become incapacitated, Warren Consolidated Schools Superintendent Robert D. Livernois said in news conference.
The driver became “lightheaded and lost consciousness” during the trip, but thanks to the “quick-thinking” of Reeves, he not only potentially saved the life of the driver but also his classmates.
“I could not be prouder of his efforts,” Livernois added. “The Warren Police and Fire Departments responded very quickly, tended to the driver, and the students were safely loaded onto a different bus to make their way home.”
Astounding security footage from the school bus shows the female driver using her hat to fan her face, seemingly feeling flushed. She then picks up her radio and says, “I feel very dizzy and I have to pull over,” before passing out in the driver’s seat while the bus is still in traffic and in motion.
Reeves then comes into the frame, grabbing the wheel, and pulling the brake on the dash as his fellow students scream in panic.
“Someone call 911, now!” he shouts after the vehicle is safely stopped. “Someone should call 911. I don’t care! Someone call 911.”
Livernois said the driver did not have a chance to pull over before losing consciousness and the bus started to “veer into oncoming traffic.” At that point, Reeves, who was sitting five rows back, jumped into action and “brought the bus to a stop in the middle of the road,” he added.
“He had the wherewithal to push it [the brake] slowly, likely in anticipation that the bus was full of passengers,” said Livernois, adding that it was “an extraordinary act of courage and maturity.”
During a news conference, the courageous boy’s parent, Steve and Ireta Reeves, said they were “very, very proud” of their son.
“This is overwhelming for all of us,” said Steve.
“To do something like this, fills my heart, makes my heart skip a beat, to even watch that video again,” continued Ireta. “I’m just … I can’t even express the proudness. I’m extremely proud of him.”
Steve added, “It’s kind of like why us, but it’s an honor, we’ve got a little hero.”
Reeves knew what to do in order to get the bus to stop thanks to his dad, whom let his son drive on his lap since he was a young child.
“He’s been on my lap driving country roads, pulling in driveways since about 4 years old,” said Steve. “Driving side by side with me in the passenger seat about 9, driving golf carts. He’s a good driver.”
“He could probably drive one of the cars out of here and be OK. He’s very attentive to his surroundings,” Steve continued.
Ireta added that when she asked her son how he knew what to do, Reeves admitted to watching the bus driver daily, noting how she operated the large vehicle. Livernois also confirmed no damage was done to the bus or any surrounding property.
A local reporter tweeted, “When called by police Dillon’s father, Steve Reeves, initially responded ‘What the heck did he do?’ Only to be told his son was a hero.”
The driver remains in the hospital undergoing testing and observations.
He added that students on the bus were offered a counseling session at the school the following day, while Dillion will be recognized with a commendation from the school board at a later date.
Warren Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams reported no injuries to the children on the 66-seater bus, per CNN.