Parents, students grateful for driver's quick thinking when school bus failed to stop

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GRETNA, Neb. (WOWT) - A school bus with students on board narrowly missed a student, some cars a and a house when it was unable to stop and crashed into the front yard of a Gretna home.

The students and parents are thankful for the driver, who managed to navigate the bus into the snow and avoid any injuries.

"When I saw the snow fly up, I was like, 'What's going on?'" student Maddon Meyer said.

He as one of the 11 students on board the out of control bus.

"Mike said to 'Hold on. Hold on,' So we did. ANd he held on to me and I held on to the seat," student Landon Burr said.

The bus swerved to avoid a truck and another bus before ending up in the yard.

"We were going pretty fast when we were getting close," student Baeron Meyer said. "I got kind of scared, and when I saw us hit the big snow pile I got freaked out."

The students have a wild story to tell.

"Once we crashed, it was like, leaning like this," Burr explained.

Parents are grateful for the driver's quick thinking.

"We really hold the bus driver in high esteem for acting as he did and keeping the kids safe," mother Megan Meyer said.

A Gretna School District representative told 6 News the pressure let out of the bus' brakes. They believe the emergency brakes kicked in, keeping the bus from hitting the house.

The Sarpy County Sheriff's Office is investigating but has not released an official cause for the incident.

"My heart sunk," mother Emily Burr said. "It could've been way worse."

Her two boys, Landon and Jackson were on the bus.

Seeing video of the crash brought the mother back to the time she was an elementary student.

"We have experienced a bus crash. We've lost kids and a parent when I was in grade school," she explained.

In 2001, a Seward Public School bus crashed into a guardrail on Dodge St. and careened into a creek. Three of Burr's classmates and a student's parent were killed.

"To think that's my kids... and it could've been my kids," the mother said. "We are incredibly thankful for Mike and his quick thinking."

The district said the driver has been with them for five years, and all four of the kids that spoke with 6 News said they love him.

Gretna school officials said their drivers inspect the buses every day before heading out in the morning, including a brake test.