Teen Saves Busload of Kids After Driver Passes Out

'I feel more confident now—and brave,' says hero Acie Holland III
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2024 12:10 PM CDT

Preparing to get off his school bus last week, Acie Holland III noticed the driver wasn't slowing down for his stop. "She likes to joke with us a lot, and I thought maybe she was fooling with us," the eighth-grader tells the Washington Post. But this was no joke. The driver, in the midst of a medical emergency, had fallen unconscious with her foot on the gas pedal. As Acie called out, he saw her head drop before the bus swerved into the opposite lane. The 14-year-old ran to the front, corrected the steering, moved the driver's foot off the gas, applied the brake, then "securely parked the bus," his principal at Glen Hills Middle School in Glendale, Wisconsin, wrote in a letter to the school community, per the Guardian.

Acie is now "seen as a hero" for preventing what "could have been a serious tragedy," with 14 students on the bus that April 25 evening, wrote Principal Anna Young. "Everyone else was okay and the other kids were frozen, just looking at me because it happened so fast," the teen tells the Post. His heroic actions didn't stop there. "I told them all to call their parents, and I asked my friend to call 911, then I got off the bus and ran home to get my grandma because she's a nurse," says Acie. She ultimately wasn't needed. By the time Acie returned, the driver had regained consciousness and contacted the transportation company, which dispatched a manager, who took the woman to a hospital, the Post reports.

It's unclear what happened to the driver, but "she was under medical care the following day," Young wrote. "The kids told me it was a really scary experience, but Acie took care of it." Young said Acie has knowledge of cars unusual for kids his age because his father owns an auto shop. "He pays close attention to everything," his mother tells the Post. Acie's knowledge came in useful days later when a local TV station came to school to interview him but had trouble with one of its vehicles. "Acie also helped save the day for TMJ4," the outlet reports. According to the Post, Acie grabbed booster cables and knew exactly how to use them to jumpstart the dead battery. As he tells WISN, "I feel more confident now—and brave." (More uplifting news stories.)

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