Jessica Jenner, 15, knew her bus driver wasn’t feeling well. But when the woman pulled over and slumped over the steering wheel, Jessica became worried.
She called her mother, Cynthia Delgado, to see what she should do. While on the phone with her mom, Jessica said, the bus driver told her she was having chest pains.
“So I just hung up with my mom and called 911,” the Silver State Charter High School sophomore said. “I know when someone has chest pains, it’s a serious thing.”
Jenner was among a handful of students on the bus heading for Fernley from Carson City on Thursday evening when the driver, who declined to be identified, pulled over along U.S. Highway 50 in Stagecoach, just before Shetland Street, and called a substitute bus driver for help.
While other students pulled out their phones to arrange alternate transportation, Jenner said, she knew she needed to act, drawing on her experience of living with her ailing grandmother in California.
“I had been calling 911 for her periodically since I was 6 until I moved to Nevada when I was like 10,” she said. “You should always act fast when something like that happens, especially when it’s public transportation.”
Jenner was able to alert the 911 operator of the driver’s condition, as well as the exact location of the bus. While they waited for help to arrive, Jenner also kept a clear head.
“I was nervous, but more collected than anything,” she said. “I kept it in because I knew if I freaked out, everybody else would freak out. You have to keep the situation calm.”
As the bus sat on the side of the road, Lyon County school bus driver Deborah Morgan passed by on her way to her home.
“I saw the door was open and the flashers were not on, which I thought was unusual,” she said.
Morgan noticed a police car was just pulling up, but she turned around anyway to return to the stopped bus.
“I drove a semi truck since 1998,” she said. “It’s protocol to look out for each other on the side of the road. I knew if I was on the side of the road, I would appreciate someone turning around to help me. That’s why I made my choice. I had to see what the situation was.”
Morgan offered to drive the remaining students home once the driver was taken by ambulance to the hospital. However, a substitute driver was minutes away, so Morgan waited with the kids until the driver arrived.
She credited Jenner for possibly saving the life of the bus driver, who later was released from the hospital.
“It was that little girl who had the quick response,” Morgan said. “She was the hero for that lady.”
Jenner’s teachers and other people have also called her a hero for her actions that day. But Jenner doesn’t see it that way.
“I feel like I did something good, but I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.”