Dustin Anders of Burleson, Texas, is a husband, a father, the superintendent of Loraine Independent School District, an occasional school bus driver — and now, a hero.
While his main job isn’t driving the bus, current circumstances have made that role a necessity.
“We’re in a [driver] shortage and we’re going to do what we can for our kiddos,” Anders said, according to the Abilene Reporter-News. “This is my fourth year here. You do what you can do to get these kids taken care of.”
On Oct. 27, Anders was driving about 30 students westbound on Interstate 20 when the bus started to act up.
“So I generally drive that afternoon route for those kiddos,” Anders said, according to WOAI-TV. “It was a normal afternoon until the bus broke down.”
As it lost power, he managed to pull it over to the side of the road, but the bus was not completely out of the road. Sensing the danger, Anders escorted all students off the bus and to a safer spot nearby.
“It was just instinct,” Anders continued. “Getting far away from the bus as possible and we’ll just sit in the grass and wait for somebody.”
He made some calls, and parents started arriving to pick up their children. About five minutes after they’d exited the bus, and as some kids were being picked up, an 18-wheeler passed too close to the stranded bus and rear-ended it, according to the Colorado City Record.
“Right at the end of that time frame, the 18-wheeler in my opinion didn’t even slow down and just hit it,” the superintendent said.
Surprisingly, the driver of the semi-truck was uninjured, too.
“And that’s all that matters,” Anders said.
While some have addressed Anders as a hero, in true hero fashion, he sees his actions as merely part of the job and nothing out of the ordinary.
“No man… My job is to take care of kiddos,” he said.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to take care of them.”