'It had to be God': Dallas school bus driver, bus monitor help save kids from floodwater
DALLAS - A Dallas ISD bus driver and bus monitor helped save two children who were caught up and nearly swept away by flooding.
They said they normally wouldn't have taken the route they took that day, adding that it must have been divine intervention.
Tekendria Valentine, the bus monitor, shot the incredible video of the rescue.
They tied seatbelts together to save the kids, who were hanging on to trees during the flooding in southeast Dallas County.
Neighbors also rushed to help pull the boy and girl to safety.
It was some heroic actions from all involved.
Rushing floodwater nearly swept away two young children Monday, until a Dallas ISD bus driver and bus monitor took quick action.
"It had to be God to send me that way because I don’t normally go that way," Simone Edmond said.
Edmond has been a Dallas ISD bus driver for 22 years.
"I’m just happy we got them out. It was super crazy though," Valentine added.
Valentine has been with the district for two years.
The two just started working together two weeks ago.
"We never even met each other before," Edmond said.
The bus was empty when they were called to pick up a student who missed their bus Monday morning.
The student isn’t normally on their route, so they were driving in a different area than usual.
The student never showed.
They never suspected what was around the corner.
"We were just in the area, I was like maybe it was a waste of time, but then when we seen what we seen, I was like maybe that was God putting us there in that area for that reason," Valentine said.
They saw two siblings, a boy and a girl, were stuck in floodwater near Belt Line and the CF Hawn Freeway. Their father was trying to help them.
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"So, the mom ran out with a baby and she was like, ‘Can you call 911, 911?’" Edmond recalled.
They called 911, but didn’t have time to wait.
"The little boy was yelling out, ‘Help, help,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re stuck,’" Valentine said. "But then we started thinking like, maybe we can tie the seat belts together and, you know, like help them."
Their bus is for special education students.
It’s equipped with removable seat belts to strap in wheelchairs.
Edmond and Valentine tied those straps together.
Neighbors came to help, and they collectively pulled the kids to safety.
"She was holding me up here, and I was holding this and I had another guy wrapped in my arms. We were holding like this, and we just extended the tie downs out until we could reach the people and pull them in," Edmond recalled.
"The little boy, he was so appreciative of us. He got out and he was like, ‘Please, I want to give you a hug. I want to give you a hug,’ and I was like, ‘That’s fine, you can give me a hug,’" Valentine said.
Edmond and Valentine said they don’t know how to swim.
"That’s the thing, we don’t know how to swim and we were like taking a chance ourselves," they said.
Coincidentally, Dallas ISD’s bus lot already has a sign that reads, "Heroes work here."
"To be honest, I got a little emotional about it because it was really inspiring," said Dr. Angel Vales, with Dallas ISD. "I mean, it just shows the commitment our bus drivers and monitors have in the district."
Edmond and Valentine still don’t know who the kids they saved are, but they believe a higher power brought them together.
"We just saw them just walk in the house like nothing happened," Valentine said.
"Like I said, it had to be God to send us that way and to make us think because we knew they needed help," Edmond said.