Kids Call Driver A Hero After School Bus Catches Fire

A school bus driver kept her cool and quickly got all her children off her burning school bus this morning. Those children are now calling the bus driver a hero.

Edgecombe County Schools say there were 39 children on the bus from Coker-Wimberly Elementary School. Spokeswoman Dianne LeFiles tells WITN News that driver Penny Cooper had just picked up the last two children on the route and those kids reported smelling smoke in the rear of the bus. Cooper pulled over and everyone got off the bus and the bus then went up in flames.

It happened around 7:30 a.m. on West Logsboro Road and the bus is a total loss. It was a 2008 Freightliner model with approximately 11,000 miles on it.

LeFiles says Cooper did a great job keeping everyone safe and another bus was sent to take the children to school.

The fire began in the top of the bus near the air conditioning unit, while the school system says it is investigating exactly why the bus caught on fire.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Chip/Skip Location: Edgecombe on May 12, 2011 at 04:19 PM
    I love you. You r my HERO. I hope they keep bus drivers like you who cares. We don't need the cut back, we need to keep concerned people like P. Cooper.
  • by Lynn Location: Pitt on May 12, 2011 at 06:55 AM
    Glad the driver and the kids are safe, the picture of the bus on fire is scary. Iam a driver myself and take my job very serious. Great job bus driver, I commend you. Kids you are blessed to have a great driver.
  • by Vera Location: Williamston, NC on May 12, 2011 at 05:18 AM
    From one driver to another, "Hats Off To You". I am grateful and thankful to you, Ms. Penny, for using your training as a driver and getting all those children off and avoiding what could have been a major loss of life. I want to also thank the students for following the directions of the driver. You are to be praised and I pray that God truly blesses you. It's not easy being a bus driver so we thank God for those that drive.
  • by Angie Location: Tarboro on May 11, 2011 at 08:23 PM
    Great job bus driver and students. Unfortunately, I proberly would have told the students that said they smelled smoke that it was just from the wildfires because it was very smokey out this morning. Thank god this very compassionate lady did not dismiss it like many of us would have! This is one lady that I hope is not effected by the budget cuts. We need more like her in our school system! GREAT JOB.
  • by Mariana on May 11, 2011 at 04:08 PM
    Good Job Ms.Penny, those kids are lucky to have you! I'm glad I don't ride that bus anymore!.
  • by Anonymous Location: Edgecombe County on May 11, 2011 at 03:36 PM
    Who cares about why the bus caught on fire...the point is is that all the children are safe!!! Great Job to the driver!!!
  • by diva17 Location: Tarboro on May 11, 2011 at 02:05 PM
    GOOD job Aunt Penny!!!!!
  • by TARBORO on May 11, 2011 at 01:36 PM
  • by sunshine on May 11, 2011 at 01:10 PM
    OMG...SMH...Thank God for the children and the bus driver quick response. She listened to the children and belived them. Now for all of you who are assuming and speculating what happened quit playing detective and wait to see what the cause was. Some of you will never be satisfied with anything always looking for the negative in any situation. Can't you find something good or positive to say about anything. 39 children are safe and returning home to their families rejoice in this. Thank God
    • reply
      by Ryan on May 12, 2011 at 03:14 AM in reply to sunshine
      I agree. Everyone is jumping to conclusions, talking about conspiracies and it's the governments fault, and flammable materials on the bus. So if a car catches on fire, or a house, then it's a conspiracy by the car manufacturer or home builder. Nice. The driver did an excellent job!
  • by Berenice Location: tarboro on May 11, 2011 at 12:47 PM
    I think the driver did good in keeping kool!! she saved y cusin and my sister!!
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