An elementary school bus carrying 27 children barreled through a Tampa, Florida community gate, as the driver slammed his foot on the brakes to no avail. The bus drove off the road only narrowing missing a big tree, and then plunged past the sign reading “WARNING: ALLIGATOR HABITAT,” straight into the water.
Kids were crying and screaming on the bus when one young boy suddenly leapt into action. 10-year-old Nicholas was a volunteer crossing guard for his school, and he knew he had to do his part to help save the other children.
Nicholas reached for a younger child, and, with her clinging tightly around him, waded out of the overturned bus and onto safe, dry land. Calm and collected, he helped his schoolmates out of the bus.
“It wouldn’t be fair if they died and I lived,” Nicholas told Tampa Bay Times.
Three sheriff’s deputies soon arrived on scene to help the bus driver make sure all of the children were out and safe.
The water was so murky officials said they couldn’t tell a backpack from a kid, but they managed to get everyone out safely.
All in all, only one child out of 27 was injured—a mild cut on the child’s shoulder—and Nicholas was said to have been responsible for many of the saved children. Afterwards, he said the experience had been surreal.
“Right when we hit the water,” the boy told them, “I felt like it was a dream.”
His mother praised the boy as a natural-born leader.
“He has a good heart and always wants to help people around him,” Deborah Sierra said.