Leave it to a school bus driver to take initiative when a child is in danger. Especially one wandering in the road.
Last week, Valerie Flanagan thought an animal in the road was the reason for slowing, swerving traffic as she drove her Garden Grove (Calif.) Unified School District bus back to the depot following her morning route. As reported on KTLA News on Oct. 8, the 23-year veteran driver said at least eight cars swerved in front of her before she realized why: a 4-year-old child was wandering in the far right lane.
Flanagan pulled over her bus, set the warning lights and left the bus (no children were inside at the time) to try and retrieve the child. She said she didn’t want to chase after the boy in fear he would run into oncoming traffic. So she knelt on the side of the road way and persuaded him to come to her. She then picked him up and took him to the bus. Meanwhile, as can only happen in Southern California (and few other choice places), motorists honked and yelled profanities at Flanagan because she was blocking the road. A local police spokesman said the child had apparently wandered off from a courtyard area at the nearby Westminster civic center, and his mother was frantically searching for him.
Flanagan said she didn’t feel like a hero and never hesitated before doing what she says she believes anyone else would have done. Especially another school bus driver.