SEALY, Texas — Students and staff in Sealy Independent School District are mourning the loss of a school bus driver who died suddenly while driving kids home Thursday.
Some of the students jumped into action when Gerald Gardner suddenly collapsed behind the wheel.
Gardner had just picked up Sealy Junior High School riders and was exiting the school drive onto Highway 90 when he lost consciousness.
The bus was rolling across the highway until students from Sealy High School and Sealy Junior High quickly took control of the bus and brought it to a stop.
"Once they got the bus stopped they killed the engine," said Sealy ISD Assistant Principal Doug Young. "One of other high school boys in the back evacuated students off back of bus, just like they've been trained to do."
Three Good Samaritans saw what happened and carried Gardner off the bus.
They performed CPR until the Sealy Fire Department and an ambulance arrived.
Even though first responders arrived within minutes, Gardner, who was in his 70s, died at the scene.
“We are extremely grateful to the years of service Mr. Gardner gave to Sealy ISD and to our students. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the Gardner family at this time,” Sealy ISD said in a statement.
The students who took action are credited with saving their classmates from injury.
"Our students are to be commended for their quick thinking and remaining calm during the evacuation,” the statement said.
Gardner, who had driven for the district for a few years, had recently passed a physical.