Jeremy Rice, ninth grader, averts bus crash...when driver falls out of seat

Colorado Springs ninth grader Jeremy Rice is being declared a hero for quick-thinking action that prevented the crash of a bus carrying more than a dozen other students.

Still, the circumstances as described by the Colorado Springs Police Department are mighty weird.

Yesterday morning, according to the CSPD police blotter, the driver of a Colorado Springs Early College bus with seventeen students on board was turning left from southbound Chelton Road to eastbound Platte Avenue when a trash can started to tip over.

Rather than letting it spill, the driver tried to grab the container before it toppled. Problem is, his seat belt had somehow come unlatched -- so as he leaned for the rubbish, he fell out of his seat into the stairwell and "could not get up quickly," the account notes. As a result, the bus began drifting across the dirt median into an oncoming lane of traffic.

Thank goodness for Jeremy. The driver is said to have called for someone to pull the emergency brake, and Rice, who was first ID'd by the Colorado Springs Gazette, managed to do so quickly enough to avert disaster. As the CSPD points out, " No vehicles or objects were struck. No injuries occurred. No accident investigation was required. No traffic citations were issued."

Might be a good idea to check that seat belt, though. And next time, pal, just let the trash can tip over -- because Jeremy Rice won't always be there to help.

More from our News archive: "Number of students using new CU-Boulder rule allowing guns in some housing units: Zero."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts