Stop the Bus

by James Holt

Jeremy W. wasn’t trying to be a hero, but it all happened so fast.

As Bus 29 carried Jeremy and his classmates to Surprise Lake Middle School, chatter about homework and sports filled the air. But when the driver began making strange choking noises, everyone fell silent. They watched him slump over in his seat as the bus began to drift into oncoming traffic. The terrified students screamed.

Instantly, Jeremy sprang to action.

“I’m just sitting around on a normal day,” Jeremy says. “Then suddenly I’m at the wheel.”

Jeremy saw the bus was heading toward a church. Instinctively, the seventh-grader gripped the wheel, steered the giant vehicle to the side of the road and took the keys out of the ignition. The bus safely came to a stop near the students’ school.

The driver wasn’t moving, so Jeremy tried to perform CPR. Only he didn’t know how.

“Then Johnny came up to me and said he knew,” Jeremy says. “So he did CPR, and I ran to get someone’s phone to call 9-1-1.”

Other students congratulated Jeremy. But Jeremy’s mind was elsewhere. He prayed for the driver and thanked God for keeping him and his friends safe.

“God protected us. I know that for sure,” Jeremy says.

Later, Jeremy found out that the bus driver had died of a heart attack. That news hit Jeremy hard. But he didn’t have to face it alone. Men from his church prayed with him and helped him talk about what happened. And more importantly, God was there to give Jeremy peace.

Speaking Out

A few weeks after the incident, Jeremy’s school held a special assembly. All the students on Bus 29 received certificates from the mayor of Milton, Washington.

Local news reporters also wanted to talk to Jeremy.

“He mentioned [he was a Christian] a couple times,” Jeremy’s mom, Catherine, says. “But they always cut that out.”

Then came a very special interview. The “Today” show invited Jeremy and Johnny to fly to New York City.

Studio lights shone, TV cameras rolled. And Jeremy told his story of the runaway bus. Then he added, “I’m a Christian, so I didn’t want it to hit the church.”

Because the interview was on live national television, it couldn’t be edited. Jeremy was finally able to use the attention he was getting to glorify God.

Sharing Jesus is important to Jeremy.

“[Being a Christian] means I get to know the one true God in the whole world,” Jeremy says. “And I get to know all the great works He’s done and what awaits us when we die.”

The incident on the bus was scary. But the Bible assures us in Romans 8:28 that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. In Jeremy’s case, the good was getting to share his faith with so many people.

“Probably everybody knows I’m a Christian now,” he says.

This article first appeared in the October 2012 issue of Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Photo © Shinichi Sugiyama/ Used under Creative Commons license.