New Orleans mother saves nine children from bus before it was caught up in flames

Stephen Nartey March 19, 2024
School bus driver saves nine children. Photo: FOX 8 WVUE

But for her maternal instinct, a catastrophe would have struck nine children in a school bus. A New Orleans school bus driver, Kia Rousseve, said she acted on her maternal instincts when she noticed smoke emanating from the vehicle. Without hesitation, she guided nine children to safety just before the bus erupted into flames.

“As soon as I saw the bus smoking, my instinct said, ‘Get them off the bus,’” Rousseve, 28, told Fox 8 of the terrifying incident in the Central City neighborhood Wednesday morning.

“A little girl came up and told me the bus was on fire underneath. I got them off,” the driver said. “I turned the bus off and got off. When I got off, the bus blew up. All I heard was, ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God, the bus blew up.”

Rousseve explained that her actions were driven by thoughts of her own child. Her heroic intervention earned her the nickname “Courage on Wheels” from her employer, Community Academies of New Orleans.

Rousseve, on her regular school bus route, was nearing her fifth stop for K-8 students when the dangerous situation unfolded. After ensuring the children’s safety, she bravely went back to the bus to confirm that no one else was inside, according to the New York Post.

“I was shook up, too, but I had to stay calm and not cry, ’cause the kids were crying,” she said.
Days following the explosion, remnants of the incident were still visible with an oil sheen present at the site and the street displaying signs of charring.

Rousseve, a school bus driver with three years of experience, said she suspects a faulty alternator was the cause of the fire.

“I feel great about saving other kids’ lives and saving my life,” she said.

Following the incident, Community Academies conducted thorough inspections of its entire fleet as a precautionary measure.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 19, 2024


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