WATCH: Driver tells kids ‘to just run’ after school bus catches fire

Shuronda Richardson had three people on her mind when her Douglas County school bus caught on fire: the middle school students still on it.

Richardson is being heralded as a hero after she saved the students from a fiery crash Friday afternoon at the intersection of Maxham and Old Alabama roads.

A truck ran a red light, pushing another vehicle under the bus carrying Turner Middle School students, Douglas County School System Transportation Department Director Andy Micacchione said.

“When (the vehicle) hit the bus, it was hard,” Richardson said in an interview with Channel 2 Action News. “The bus actually went over. We thought we were going to roll.”

Richardson said she began to smell smoke.

“I didn’t think it was that bad, but it just got worse,” she said, “and the bus was definitely on fire. So, I told the kids to just run.”

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You can hear the children screaming as the vehicle hits the bus in video released Monday. One of the children was lifted out of her seat from the impact. A focused Richardson can also be heard telling the students to get off the bus.

Richardson, a mother of three, said all she could think of were the students.

“In an event like that, you don’t have a lot of time to work with,” she told Channel 2. “You can only go with what you’re taught (and) do it.”

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