Hero Counselor Saves Kids From Bus on Bridge

He passes 52 trapped kids to volunteers
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 3, 2007 8:48 AM CDT
Ten-year-old Kaleigh Swift, left, hugs her friend Olivia Reynolds as they describe how they were rescued from the school bus stuck on the Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed on Wednesday over the Mississippi...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – When a bus packed with kids returning from a field trip came to rest at a precarious angle on the collapsed I-35W bridge, dangling over the Mississippi River, counselor Jeremy Hernandez barely had time to think. "I knew we had to get them out of there," the 20-year-old said yesterday, recalling the effort that brought all 52 children to safety.

Hernandez opened the back door and, with help from a passing construction worker and other adults, created a sort of bucket brigade with the 5- to 14-year-olds. The children credit Hernandez with saving their lives. "Jeremy was the first person to jump up and say, 'Get out of your seats and off the bus,'" says a 10-year-old camper.