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"Everybody grab your stuff and get off the bus now," 'hero' bus driver speaks following bus fire

Posted at 5:31 PM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 17:31:40-04

SHELDON, N.Y. (WKBW) — 17 students made it off of their bus safely before flames engulfed a school bus Tuesday morning in Sheldon, all thanks to their quick-thinking bus driver. Just prior to 8 a.m. on Maxon Road near Route 20a, bus driver, Vikki Czechowicz, saw smoke coming from under her bus dashboard.

"I said, 'okay everybody grab your stuff get off the bus now,'" Czechowicz said. "And then within a couple of seconds, flames."

Students, from kindergarten to juniors in high school, filed off the bus and walked down a nearby driveway moments before disaster.

"I've watched these kids grow up, they're kind of like my own in a way," Czechowicz said. "Just doing my job, just like anyone else would, any bus driver. Taking care of the kids making sure they're safe."

The bus fire happening just a few days following a fatal car crash that left three dead a few hundred feet away at the corner of Route 20a and Maxon Road.