UPDATED at 1:54 p.m.
A quick-acting Milton middle school student guided his school bus safely off the road Monday morning after the driver had a medical emergency.
With the driver passed out, Jeremy Wuitschick grabbed the steering wheel, steered the bus to the curb and took the keys out of the ignition. Meanwhile, another student called 911 to get medical aid for the 43-year-old driver.
“We’re just happy the kid was thinking on his feet,” Milton Police Chief Bill Rhoads said of Wuitschick. “(He did) a great job.”
The scene unfolded about 8 a.m. on Milton Way near the entrance of Surprise Lake Middle School.
Rhoads said officers started receiving calls about an erratically driven school bus.
An officer was nearby and showed up within seconds. A Fife school administrator was following the bus and pulled over after Wuitschick got the bus stopped.
The Surprise Lake Middle School students were escorted off the bus as others started CPR on the driver. The driver was later taken to St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way. His condition was not known.
The bus didn’t hit any cars and no one else was injured.
“It was pretty scary,” Wuitschick, a seventh-grader, told KOMO. “It was all happening really quickly.”
Rhoads credited Wuitschick’s quick thinking in getting the bus stopped safely. He said the department will recognize his actions soon.
“He did the right thing,” Rhoads said.