Safety Drill Turned Deadly: Ohio Bus Driver Killed Saving 10-Year-Old Student

An Ohio school bus driver is being hailed as a hero after a school bus safety drill turned deadly. The bus driver sacrificed her own life for that of a 10-year-old student by pushing the child out of the way of a school bus that was rolling backwards.

According to the US News and World Report, the accident occurred around 8:10 am this morning when about 40 children were participating in the drill at Middlebury Academy in Akron, Ohio. A 10-year-old girl was the last one on the bus about to jump out of the emergency exit when the bus began to roll. The bus driver threw the child to safety on a lawn, but was struck by the bus and killed.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the bus driver has been identified as 51-year-old Laura Zborowski of Akron. Akron police Lt. Rick Edwards told the Dispatch,“She sacrificed her own life to save the life of this 10-year-old girl.”

Edwards said the bus pulled up beside Middlebury Academy where Zborowski directed the students to perform a routine bus evacuation drill. For the drill, about 40 students, ranging in class from kindergarten to eighth-grade, first exited the bus at the front and lined up single file on the sidewalk. They then got back on the bus and practiced exiting the bus from the rear emergency exit. This is the point were the safety drill turned deadly. The drill went as planned until the final 10-year-old student was attempting to jump off the bus.

Edwards notes that the school bus rolled over Zborowski causing the injuries that later claimed her life.

“I don’t think she had time to react.”

The school has said grief counselors were on site for the children that witnessed the death. School executive director Joe Palmer said, “Our focus is making sure kids feel safe and supportive and to get whatever resources we can into the school immediately.”

It is unknown at this time what caused the bus to roll backwards, killing the heroic bus driver. However, the private company, Cincinnati-based Petermann, that Zborowski worked for, is said to be conducting its own investigation as well as working with the authorities. Edwards said the Ohio State Highway Patrol will examine the mechanics of the bus to determine what caused it to roll backward.

Unfortunately not all bus drivers are as heroic as Zborowski. The Inquisitr reported recently that a bus driver forced elementary students to sit on a hot bus with the windows rolled up as punishment, causing one of the children to become ill.