‘It’s a miracle that he’s safe;’ Tecumseh bus driver saves student’s life

CLARK COUNTY — A Tecumseh Local Schools bus driver is being credited with saving a student’s life.

A video posted to the district’s social media page shows the bus driver April Wise slowing down to make one of her stops.

As she stops the bus and opens the doors, she can be seen checking her mirrors when she noticed something wrong.

“Whoa wait, wait! Stay, stay,” the Wise yelled.

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Wise quickly snatches a student by their backpack and pulls them back. Moments later, an SUV comes barreling into the frame, stopping next to the bus.

“If he would have just got off the bus a little quicker or something, everything might have been different,” Karen Lokai, Tecumseh Schools Transportation Supervisor, said.

Lokai said seeing the video gives her chills.

“It gives you chills to hear it and see the video and see how close you know, things happen in such a split second,” Lokai said.

Transportation Secretary Lisa Heitzman was the first to be called over the radio. When she heard Wise’s voice, she could tell something was wrong. When she saw the video, she said Wise was unbelievable.

“We pulled the video and didn’t realize how close it actually was and what led to it,” Heitzman told News Center 7.

Superintendent Paula Crew said the student told his mother that the bus driver saved his life.

“The mom reached out to us personally to thank us and thank our team for responding to the accident [and] to thank the bus driver,” Crew said. “She’s beyond [thankful that] her son got off the bus and came in the house when he did.”

Crew said incidents like this happen frequently.

“Oftentimes, almost on a daily basis, we have cars passing our school buses,” Crew said.

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News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott talked to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Friday and they gave us statistics on the number of school bus violations they’ve had reported in recent years. In Clark County, where Tecumseh Local Schools are, there have been 208 violations since 2018.

School bus violations result in a mandatory court appearance and up to a $500 fine, as well as a possible license suspension, according to OSHP Sgt. James Bryner.

Bryner said many people don’t know that when you have four lanes of less of traffic, cars need to stop in both directions when there is a school bus.

“When they see the yellow lights, I think the motoring public tends to see that as an opportunity to speed up,” Bryner said.

When he saw the video of what happened with Wise and the student, he said it could have ended much worse. That is something Clark County Sheriff’ Office Deputy John Loney agreed with, especially since he was the one who responded to the scene.

“It’s a miracle that he’s safe,” Loney said.

The district said they plan to honor Wise for her heroics on Monday.

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