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Passer-by lends helping hand

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By Brandon Mattingly

A Washington County school bus taking students to class last Wednesday morning ran into a bit of trouble, but quick action ensured the safety of those on board.
Zachary Smith said he was following the bus down Valley Hill Road and Grundy Home Road on his way home from work in Bardstown when the bus met an oncoming car.

The car, Smith said, moved over to give the bus as much room as it could on the narrow one-land road, but dark, rainy conditions led to the tires on one side of the bus ending up off the road along a hillside.

“I was like, ‘whoa, that was close,” Smith said.

Moments later, Smith said the bus attempted to continue on, sliding further off the road and began to rock, and that’s when he decided he needed to offer a hand.

After a brief discussion with bus driver Carol Carney, Smith said they decided to get the children off the bus to be on the safe side.

“I was telling the kids, ‘you’ve got to get off,’” Smith said. “They were getting off the bus or I was going to get on the bus and help get them off, because I wasn’t going to sit there and watch the bus flip with kids on it.”

Smith said he could see that the students, particularly the younger ones, were upset, so he explained to them to all stand to one side of the bus while exiting one at a time.

Members of the bus garage were soon on the scene and another bus was dispatched to pick up the students. James “Pogo” Mann, transportation director for the school district, said Carney—with the help of Smith—acted properly.

“The driver did everything she was supposed to do. She deemed it safer to get the kids off the bus,” Mann said. “In a few minutes we had another bus there and they were on their way to school.”

Mann said the bus suffered no damage from the incident.