Metra train crashes into stalled school bus; driver gets kids to safety minutes before collision

'She kept calm and she did a great role in keeping those kids safe.'
ORLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- A school bus driver is being hailed as a hero after she was able to get children off a bus stalled bus before it was hit by a train in suburban Orland Park Friday.

It happened shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday on 167th Street, not too far from U.S. Route 6 and where the school bus had just picked up kids from St. Michael School.

"Our students were coming home from school," St. Michael School Principal Paul Smith said. "That was definitely her primary focus, to make sure the kids were safe."

Authorities say five kids were on board when the bus driver stopped at the tracks, just as she's required to do.

But when she tried to go, the bus wouldn't move, stalling on the tracks seconds before an oncoming train going to Chicago was headed their way.

"It's a very scary situation for anyone. It could've been far worse," Smith said. "Everybody kept a calm head and followed directions, and followed the training that they have."

And that training helped the driver to lead the students safely off the bus before the collision.

"She kept calm and she did a great role in keeping those kids safe," Moore said.

No one was hurt. Parents were soon notified and students even gave a farewell hug to the driver who helped to save their lives

"It really was very nice to see them, right before they went home with their parents, to kind of embrace and thank each other for the great outcome because of her actions," Smith said.
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