Students praised for saving life of bus driver

7:32 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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STILLWATER, Minn. - Duane Burmeister doesn't remember much about his bus route last Tuesday.

"I don't even remember the kids getting on the bus," he said.

But he knows that a special group of middle school students stepped up to help him when he needed it most.

On December 11, Duane was pulling out of the Oak-Land Middle School parking lot and onto a busy four-lane road. He had nine kids on board and they were heading to Nordic ski practice.

"The bus driver started making an odd noise," recalled Rana Kraftson, a seventh grader at Oak-Land. "And then he started to shake a little bit, and he fell like a brick off his seat."

"There's still tracks where the bus went straight across into the snow bank," said Carl Bohacek, another seventh grader who was also on the bus at the time.

Rana quickly ran to the front and pushed the brake pedal. When the bus was stopped, another student stayed with Duane while others ran back to the school for help.

"We were just talking to him, checking to see if he was conscious or not, and watching to see if he was breathing," she said.

An ambulance arrived quickly and Duane got to a hospital where doctors said he had suffered a mini-stroke, otherwise known as a transient ischemic attack. Other than a broken arm, he's recovering well.

"They certainly did a good job and I'm really happy and appreciative for what they did," said Duane.

The kids are proud of what they did, too, but shrug off any mention of being "heroes."

"It seems to me like what any reasonable human being would do," said Rana.

Added Emma Anderson, "We don't go around saying, 'Oh, we saved a guy's life today,' but we're just really happy he's okay."


(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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