Instant Bus Driver: The 7th Grader Making National News

When the only adult on the bus passed out, one student didn’t panic as the bus rolled toward traffic.

Front closeup view of a yellow school bus


If he ever wants a job driving a school bus, Dillon shouldn’t have any problem passing the required tests.

Pretty impressive for a middle-schooler.

Back in April, Dillon—now an eighth grader in metro Detroit, Michigan—was riding home when his bus driver became lightheaded and appeared to pass out behind the wheel. The bus, then under no one’s control, began rolling toward heavy traffic.

One second, he’s a 7th grader—the next, a bus driver

Video footage from the vehicle’s security camera appears to show the bus driver losing consciousness. Seconds later, Dillon, who was sitting five rows back, calmly approached the driver’s seat, took control of the steering wheel, pushed the brake pedal and shifted into neutral to help bring the vehicle safely to a stop. Dillon then calmly instructed the other students to call 911.

Police and fire officials arrived within four minutes of the call. No one was injured and the bus was unscathed, all thanks to the quick-thinking Dillon, who showed composure and maturity beyond his years.

Detroit, Michigan, has a new hometown hero

The students were transferred to another bus and continued their trip home without incident. Later, school officials praised Dillon for his calm, even-handed response, awarding him an official commendation from the school board.

“[Dillon’s] actions made all the difference, and I could not be prouder,” said Warren Consolidated Schools Superintendent Robert D. Livernois. For his cool handling of what could have been a tragic incident, Dillon received an official commendation from the school board according to CNN.

Dillon’s parents, Steve and Ireta, praised their son’s actions, but they weren’t surprised that he freely stepped into a potentially dangerous situation. Steve described Dillon in a press conference as “very attentive to his surroundings.”

That aspect of his personality served him especially well during that bus ride. In the same press conference, Ireta said that when she asked Dillon how he knew what to do when he noticed the driver’s condition, he simply responded, “I watch her do it every day.”

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