Teresa Stroble, South Carolina school bus driver is being hailed as a local hero after leading fifty-six students to safety when the vehicle caught fire on Tuesday morning.
Melissa Robinette, a spokesperson for the Spartanburg County School District, said the bus was carrying students to Duncan Elementary, Beech Springs Intermediate, and then eventually to Byrnes High School.
“From what we have been able to gather initially, two students seated at the rear of the bus noticed the smoke and notified their driver immediately,” Robinette said. “She did exactly as trained, reacted quickly and got all kids off the bus safely. Luckily, no one was injured.”
Superintendent Scott Turner said he was incredibly proud of driver Stroble. “She is our hero today,” Turner said of the driver. He said Stroble stayed calm, made student safety her first priority, and followed her training.
“Hero!! Ms. Teresa Stroble. She evacuated 56 students in under a minute. God bless her. So grateful for her quick action,” Turner tweeted after personally admiring the driver.
Kids confirmed that Stroble is really a hero; they said that after they were off the bus, she led them to a field behind the car wash and away from the bus as it burned. Soon the Duncan Fire Department extinguished the blaze.
Stroble, the bus driver of seven years is also a teacher’s assistant for the district during the day, hardly rested on her laurels. She rode the route home that day with her regular riders, which span in age from elementary to high school.
“She wanted to be on the bus that afternoon to reassure them,” said school district spokeswoman Melissa Robinette.
The next morning, Stroble was driving the same route. This time in a different bus.
The Duncan Fire Department and the state of South Carolina, which owns the bus, is already conducting the investigation.