What Reeves did is an important technique to keep in the back of your mind, especially if you ride a bus.
By now you’ve probably saw the amazing bit of video of Dillon Reeves, a Carter Middle School 7th grader, quite literally saving the day, safely stopping a school bus after his bus driver had a medical emergency.
And after a press conference led by the district’s Superintendent, we now know exactly how Reeves safely stopped a packed bus, employing what I consider to be an intermediate driving technique.
First, here’s bus footage, once more.
School bus driver, driving 66 children in Michigan, has medical emergency and becomes incapacitated. 13-year-old Dillon Reeves jumps to the rescue and brings the bus to a halt. (Video: WXYZ) pic.twitter.com/0WqsMHwJze— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) April 28, 2023
And, the press conference footage, too. The relevant bit is around 4:30.
According to the Superintendent, Reeves was riding on a 66 passenger bus, which, when fully loaded, weighs anywhere between 25,000-30,000 pounds.Embed from Getty Images
To put that in comparison, your average crossover weighs a 1/9th that, somewhere around 3,500 pounds.
“He (Dillon) jumped up from his seat,” the superintendent recounts. “Threw his backpack down, ran to the front of the bus, grabbed the steering wheel, and brought the bus to a stop.”
“You would think in the middle of this panic he’d just jump on the brake. He had the wherewithal to push it slowly, likely in anticipation that the bus was full of passengers. Despite the justifiable panic on the bus…somehow he remained calm…”
With the above in mind, if you watch the bus footage again, you can see Reeves taking a good 6-7 seconds of slowly pressing the brakes to bring the bus to a stop.
Reeves likely had the presence of mind to know that a bus isn’t like any ordinary car, and he’s dealing with literal tons of weight, here.
If you didn’t already know, most American school buses don’t require seat belts and a sharp application of brakes likely would’ve sent some kids forward, possibly injuring themselves.
Above all, Reeves remained calm, which, as any emergency preparedness teacher would tell you, is probably the best quality to have in situations like this.
I tip my hat to you, Reeves, truly a hero in every sense of the word.