MARSHALL, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV)– Five students from Parke Heritage Middle School and Turkey Run Elementary were recognized at the Indiana Statehouse Monday for helping their bus driver during a medical emergency.
Gavin Smith, Legend Smith, Brayton Myers, Dylan Lamb and Logan Bowles sprung into action and called 911 after their bus driver, Sandy Woolwine, suddenly became ill during the afternoon bus route.
Gavin Smith, an eighth grader at Parke Heritage Middle School, said the ride home started out normal until Woolwine alerted Smith’s father that she needed assistance once she pulled over at his stop.
“When she pulled over I got off and I went to my dad’s truck because we were going to go home,” Smith said. ” “She honked the horn and I thought that was just to get my dad’s attention because she wanted to tell him something about like if she wasn’t going to be there the next day, but then she honked again,” he said.
Smith said he went through a range of emotions while trying to help his bus driver and follow his father’s instructions to call the local sheriff’s department.
“I felt kind of confused because I wasn’t on the bus while it was going on. I was in the truck and I was looking back at the bus seeing what I could see,” Smith said.
Woolwine passed away at the scene.
Beau Baird, a representative at the Indiana Statehouse, said Woolwine ensured her students safety at all times.
“What made this special was that she died while transporting children and she protected their lives until the very end,” Baird said.
Scott Schulz, the principal at Parke Heritage, said Woolwine’s prescence is one that will be greatly missed.
“She meant a lot to her students and her students meant a lot to her. So she was very fortunate to have these heroes on her bus at the time of her medical emergency,” Schulz said.