VIDEO — School Bus Driver Gets Children to Safety Before Train Hits: ‘We Are So Grateful’

A school bus stalled on railroad tracks in Orland Park, Illinois, on Friday and was hit by a passing train, but the outcome was ultimately positive.

The incident happened at 167th and 109th Avenue, Fox 32 reported.

At approximately 2:40 p.m., the Orland Fire Protection District answered an urgent call when the vehicle stalled on the train tracks.

Fire Chief Michael Scholfield explained no one was hurt thanks to the bus driver, who immediately helped the five children out of the vehicle minutes before the train struck the bus:

“The investigation we did shows the driver stopped at the tracks as required to do so, but when she started the bus to cross, the bus stalled with the front end of the bus over the tracks,” Schofield said. “The gate came down on top of the bus and the driver then quickly escorted the five children off of the bus to safety minutes before the METRA train hit the front of the bus.”

“When everyone does what they are trained to do, no one gets hurt. We are so grateful for that,” Schofield continued.

In a social media post on Friday, the Orland Park Police Department shared a photo of the bus with its front end touching the train:

Accident with No Injuries: At approximately 2:30 this afternoon, an accident involving a stalled, unoccupied school bus…

Posted by Orland Park Police Department on Friday, February 4, 2022

Twelve-year-old Ava Gentile and her brothers were among the students riding the bus. Ava said the driver, Ms. Sue, got them all to safety before the crash.

“We all just ran off the bus. I got Jeremy and Joshua, the neighbor and I just told them to get off the bus and go far away,” Ava noted.

Video footage showed pieces of the school bus lying on the ground and the vehicle being hauled away from the scene:

“Just walking up and seeing all three of them was a relief. They were all emotional, very upset. Saw Ms. Sue. Went up to her, gave her a hug. Just thanked her for her response, her actions,” the children’s father, Marc Gentile, commented.

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