You always hear people complain about teachers not getting enough credit for going above and beyond for their students. An Atlanta band director stopped what could have been a tragic end. Band Director Mark Linn took control of a bus carrying 129 people when the bus driver passed out.
The bus was transporting 108 students and 20 adults from the Parkway North High School from St. Louis to Orlando, Florida when the driver lost consciousness. As the bus traveled along the Georgia interstate at 70 miles per hour, a chaperone noticed the driver wasn’t moving and alerted Mark Linn. In an interview with a local news station, Mark Linn recounted, “The chaperone behind me said ‘Mark, something’s wrong with the driver.’ So I got up and he was slumped over the wheel. And at that time I tried to shake him, thinking he had just fallen asleep.”
Things got worse as the uncontrolled bus entered into a construction zone as Linn was attempting to move the driver out of the driver’s seat. “We hit pylons and traffic cones and barrels and skidded off a guard rail once,” the band director further explained. “I grabbed the wheel and tried to get his foot off the accelerator then put my leg between his and hit the brake and guided it to a stop.”
Students posted about the incident on Facebook. One of Mark Linn’s students wrote, “You probably won’t read about it in the papers, and it probably won’t make any headlines, but my high school band teacher Mark Linn prevented what could have been a headline making catastrophe.”
A doctor was on board at the time of the almost crash. The doctor attended to the driver and everything is fine. Afterward Mark Linn reflected, “To be quite frank, it was pretty scary because I was concerned not only for our driver, but for our kids, and there were a couple of seconds there I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out okay. But thank God I was able to wrestle the wheel away from him and get the bus stopped.”
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