Safety training aids in Jonesboro bus incident

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Several students were forced to evacuate a Jonesboro School District bus when it filled with smoke from a mechanical issue on Thursday.

It happened near Highland Drive and Rains Street, and all of the students made it off the bus safely.

At first, bus driver Cassandra Greer said she didn't know what was going on, and that's when her years of training took over.

"I heard a loud boom and I said to my monitor, what was that," Greer said. "I looked up in my mirror and there was smoke everywhere, and my immediate reaction was to pull the bus over and I told her to get all of the kids off right now."

That's what she did in just 40 seconds.

Jonesboro Transportation Director Mickey Long said the bus driver did her part in pulling the bus over, getting the kids off and calling dispatch.

A mechanic and another bus to pick up the kids were on scene quickly.

Long stressed how much of a role safety training played in handling the situation.

"It's just a continuous training, you can't train on safety enough," Long said. "It's something we have to continue to do, especially when you carry cargo as special as ours, it's irreplaceable, so we have to be as safe as we can."

Long said the bus blew a turbo, which is a simple mechanical issue on a diesel engine.

But at the time, the driver had to treat it like any emergency situation.

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