ABC NEWS: School bus driver honored for saving child from floodwater
Ricardo Ramos, a local school bus driver, is credited with saving one young student, possibly two, caught in a flash flood last summer. He was honored by the California Highway Patrol on Wednesday, who named him School Bus Driver of the Year.
It was a big day for a bus driver who says he was just doing his job.
“I really didn’t expect any of this and I just want to thank all of you guys very much,” said Ramos.
But many people are thanking him. Because it was what Ramos did for two kids who were on his bus last summer that got him the honor of Southern California’s School Bus Driver of the Year.
“I was just at the right spot at the right moment and I just acted. I didn’t even think twice,” said Ramos.
Last August a powerful thunderstorm moved through Riverside, flooding many streets. Two children had just walked off the bus, when 8-year-old Jose Bejar was carried away by a fast-moving torrent of water.
His grandmother says she didn’t know what to do. Ramos saw what was happening and jumped off the bus and went into the swift-moving water to rescue Bejar.
“Thank you for saving my brother,” Bejar’s little sister told Ramos Wednesday.
Ramos says he accepts the honor with humility and on behalf of all the other bus drivers out there, people who he says do things every day to keep children safe.
“A lot of people don’t understand the things that we have to do and that we have to go through every day,” said Ramos. “They just think of us just as a regular driver that’s just taking kids back and forth. But honestly, it’s hard work. And it takes a lot to be able to do something like that.”
The California Highway Patrol says it’s very likely that if Ramos hadn’t acted so quickly that day that 8-year-old Jose and possibly his 7-year-old sister might very well have died.
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