JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A five-year-old girl saved seconds before tragedy. Her hero? Westside Elementary teacher, Danny Price. "The bus driver said 'I never would have seen her there' and it could have really been a bad situation," Price told Region 8 News.
Getting hundreds of kids onto their respective buses in an orderly fashion is almost impossible. "It's crazy out here," Price said. "The little ones, trying to get them all on their right buses." But getting them on there safely is a priority.
When school lets out at Westside Elementary in the afternoons, it is a team effort to get everyone in place to get them home in one piece. It's not part of his job requirements, but that's one reason 4th grade teacher Danny Price helps out with bus pick-up in the afternoons. Recently, his willingness to help and attention to detail kept tragedy from happening.
"That day I just...I don't know, the buses were getting ready to leave and I just happened to, got a glimpse of something," Price said. "I stepped toward the corner, looking around and I got a glimpse of something pink."What he saw was a pink backpack, but it wasn't a child rushing toward the bus. The doors were already closed, and the buses were about to take off. "I was looking under the buses to see little feet and stuff and I didn't see anything," Price said.
But as he kept walking, he saw what that pink backpack was attached to."One of our little 5-year-olds was leaned up against the front of the rear dual tires and I couldn't see her from where I was located at," Price said. "So I grabbed her by the backpack and pulled her away from the buses because the buses were fixing to leave."
A split-second, life-saving reaction that the father of three said was terrifying."When I went back in the building, I was just sick, just sick to my stomach. the thought that something like that could happen to someone, to one of our kids...nobody wants that."Price said he didn't think anyone knew about what happened, let alone Superintendent Bryan Duffie.
However, at their school board meeting this week, Dr. Duffie presented Price with this service award for his heroic actions.