Somerset County School Bus Driver Heralded as a Hero - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset County School Bus Driver Heralded as a Hero

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Mangled Bus 19 after crash (Photo: WBOC) Mangled Bus 19 after crash (Photo: WBOC)
Troy Brittingham Sr., School Bus Driver (Photo: WBOC News) Troy Brittingham Sr., School Bus Driver (Photo: WBOC News)

CRISFIELD, Md.- A Somerset County school bus driver is being called a hero after his quick reactions saves the lives of students. Troy Brittingham Sr. was driving his normal bus route along Crisfield Highway when an unhitched trailer slammed into the front windshield of the school bus he was driving. The entire incident, which happened on Jan. 4, was captured by the bus' onboard camera.

Brittingham said his first thought when the trailer hit the windshield was the safety of the children onboard. 

"When it happened I grabbed the steering wheel right tight and slammed on the brakes real hard to try and stop the bus. I figured it would eventually swerve off into the grass but the trailer ended up coming head on with the bus. My main focus was try not to hurt the kids," he said.

The school bus Brittingham was driving, Bus 19, was totaled in the accident. Somerset County School Superintendent John Gaddis said when he arrived at the accident scene you could see the skid marks where Brittingham attempted to turn the bus.

"The whole front of the bus was off in the field, the engine had been pushed back off the frame it was met with such force," Gaddis said.

The bus engine and front was mangled and smashed. Debris was scattered all over the highway. Gaddis praised Brittingham for his evasive driving techniques and 16-years experience as a truck driver for saving the lives of 20 children and his own.

"Troy's a hero. I know people use that all the time and it's not an over-exaggeration," Gaddis said. "What he did with those evasive maneuvers, the composure and skills he displayed saved us from having casualties." 

Brittingham said he never considered himself a hero; but parents and students are thankful he is one. Troy's humbled reaction, "It feels great, I'm taking it in stride but it feels great."

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