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A bus driver in Michigan fainted at the wheel. Then a 7th-grader took control

A seventh-grader in Michigan is being heralded a hero after he safely stopped his school bus after the driver passed out.

At 2:59 p.m. local time on Wednesday, a driver for Warren Consolidated Schools called the transportation base to let them know that she was feeling dizzy and needed to pull the bus over. As she slowed the bus down in preparation to stop, she lost consciousness, and the bus was still moving.

Then, Dillon Reeves, sitting about five rows back, sprang into action.

He threw his backpack down, ran to the front of the bus, grabbed the steering wheel and slowly applied the brakes before the bus could veer into oncoming traffic. Once the bus was stopped, Dillon yelled to his classmates, "Someone call 911. Now!"

"In my 35-plus years of education, this was an extraordinary act of courage and maturity on his part," Warren Consolidated Schools Superintendent Robert Livernois said at a news conference Thursday.

The driver is currently in the hospital undergoing testing and monitoring, and must be screened for drugs, Livernois said.

The driver, who was hired last July, had no previous history of fainting and had passed a required medical exam, Livernois said.

There was light traffic on the road at the time of the incident and the bus was not damaged, Livernois said.

A man walking down the street and a woman two cars behind the bus came to help after the incident. The man checked on the driver, while the woman led the children off the bus through the rear so they would not interfere with responders, Livernois said.

Steve Reeves, Dillon's father, said his son has often ridden on his lap while he drives and has driven golf carts in the past.

Ireta Reeves, Dillon's mom, said, "Dillon, he's really been a great guy this year. He's come a long way. He's surprised us with great grades and his performances at school, with friends, with peers, and to do something like this just fills my heart. It makes my heart skip a beat to even watch that video."

Steve and Ireta Reeves, who are a health and safety supervisor and community nurse, respectively, said Dillon wants to be a police officer or a professional hockey player.

The school board will hold a commendation ceremony for Dillon soon, Livernois said, and at home, Steve Reeves said he will take Dillon for ice cream and a weekend at the family's camper.

"I don't know that it could have gone any better, and when you have an anchor like Dylan taking care of business on the bus, it really and truly was a good day for us," Livernois said.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie