La Grange students prevent bus crash when driver suffers medical emergency

Seventh-grader Karson Vega took the wheel, and sophomore Kyler Buzcek directed police over phone.

La Grange Middle School student Karson Vega doesn't usually ride the bus, but on Thursday Feb. 1, it was good his mother let him.

“She couldn’t pick me up from athletics, so she told me to get on it,” said Vega.

Minutes into the ride home, Karson noticed the driver was driving erratically.

“He missed a turn and went into a ditch. Then he had to back up, that's when I started thinking. Then he started making circles and stuff. He was going off into a ditch on almost every turn,” said Vega.

The bus had six students on it, plus the driver. With survival on his mind, Karson thought quickly, called 9-1-1 and got sophomore Kyler Buzcek to help him out.

“I went and got the little kids. I told them to go to the back because they were sitting there crying and stuff. Then I told the other kid to hang on to them,” said Vega.

Then the thirteen-year-old sat in the weakening driver's lap.

“He wouldn’t take his feet off so I kicked them over a little,” said Vega.

Karson turned on the flashers, took the wheel and drove a good two miles on Highway 71. The sophomore student who was helping, stayed on the phone with police. Karson coasted the bus to a stop, near a bridge above the Colorado River.

“The fact that they didn't go into the river just gives me goosebumps thinking about what could've been,” said Amber Vega, his mother.

“We would've all died. Because he was swerving off pretty much into the river and off that hill too,” said Karson.

“I’m proud of him that he remained so calm, that he could think of what the next step was,” said Amber.

The driver was taken to the hospital, and is expected to be okay. For Karson, it was quick thinking and La Grange, he is a hero.

“There was a reason he was on that bus that day,” said Amber.