Kids come to bus driver's aid
THE number 10 school bus had only two kids left to deliver in Angourie when a freak malfunction stopped the vehicle in its tracks.
The overhead surveillance equipment that fastened above the driver came loose, first hitting him in the head and then puncturing his hand as it came to land.
Reg Armstrong managed to pull over and it was then that two quick-thinking 10-year-olds from St James Primary swung into action.
Morwenna Maddock yelled down the back of the bus to Rory Frazer for help.
“The first thing she said was ‘Reg, how do I open the door, my dad is working down this street’,” Mr Armstrong said yesterday from home, after being released from Maclean Hospital the night before.
“She’s seen the box come down on me and remained very calm,” he said.
While Rory lifted the heavy piece of equipment off Mr Armstrong who was now bleeding profusely, Morwenna ran up Shelly Street to find her dad, but no such luck.
“I heard this bang on the door and obviously Morwenna had thought who else she knew in the street,” Shelly Street resident Will Webber said.
Mr Webber said that by the time he arrived at the bus, Mr Armstrong had ‘lost a lot of blood and looked as though he was going into shock’.
A makeshift bandage made from a sheet was soon soaked through but the driver was conscious and asked to be taken to his doctor who recommended an ambulance transfer to hospital.
He was later discharged with 12 stitches to his hand and internal bruising to his neck.
Several of his teeth will also need replacing.
Mr Armstrong said it was ironic that this accident should happen in his new bus, after he insisted on the replacement of his old bus this year.
“The new one had air-conditioning and I just thought it was safer and a more comfortable ride for the kids,” he said.
Not sure when he’ll be back in the driver’s seat, Mr Armstrong was thankful that he was driving slow at the time and praised his young passengers for their help.
“The kids did a really good job, they didn’t panic at all.”