Bus driver hailed hero for using bus to protect hit-and-run victim

Francis Akhalbey October 31, 2023
Stacey Hatcher used her bus to protect a hit-and-run victim -- Left photo via Inside Lake | Right photo via WKMG News 6

A school bus driver in Lake County, Florida, is being praised for her quick thinking and heroics after she used her bus to protect a hit-and-run victim during an encounter on October 23. In an interview with WKMG News 6, Stacey Hatcher said she was returning to the bus depot after she drove Eustis High School bandmembers from a field trip when she saw an injured Abigail Stevens lying on the road.

Stevens was found close to the Lakeview Avenue and Morin Drive intersection. The bus driver said that though she doesn’t usually ply the Lakeview route, something told her to use that road on the night of the hit-and-run.

“I thought it was a prank for Halloween you know that someone would do to put someone in the road to kind of scare someone which it did scare me,” said Hatcher. “So when I saw her I immediately put my bus in park and I brightened my lights and what made me know it was a real body — I saw blood running alongside the road where she was laying and I immediately called 911.”

Hatcher has since described her week as an emotional one – though she’s “coping with it” day by day.  “I’ll get better. I pray for her every day and I know God is going to bring her through because he wouldn’t have led me that way if he wasn’t,” she said. 

Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri also described Hatcher as a “hero” who “should be recognized as that.” “She was definitely at the right place at the right time, and she saved the human life that day,” Capri said.

Capri said they are yet to get a suspect description, though they have identified a suspect vehicle, WKMG News 6 reported. Police have since shared pictures of the car in question.

“Hopefully somebody will come through, somebody saw something, somebody will know something,” Capri said. “We beg them to come forward and help us out.”

Stevens’ sister also told the news outlet that the victim was hospitalized with 20 broken bones.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 31, 2023


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