Inquisitive kindergartners helped to keep their classmates and their driver safe from a hijacker, according to Columbia, South Carolina school bus driver, Kenneth Corbin.
In early May, 23-year-old Jovan Collazo, stepped onto a school bus with an unloaded rifle and ordered Corbin to drive to the next town with 18 terrified school kids in tow. Collazo was an army recruit at Columbia’s Fort Jackson military base and was trying to escape, the Washington Post reported.
Fortunately, neither the school children nor their bus driver Corbin were harmed in the harrowing ordeal which lasted for about six minutes, according to Corbin. Corbin told Good Morning America that during the hijacking, the children asked multiple questions that seemed to get to Collazo: Was he a soldier? Why was he doing this? And was he going to hurt them?
“The kids were the ones that actually got the gentleman off of the bus and they pretty much had my back as much as my concerns were with them,” Corbin told GMA.
“…It seemed to have frustrated him because his main objective was to get to the next town, but I think we were only on the road about four miles and he just got frustrated with the questions and just told me to stop the bus and get off. All y’all get off now.”
Corbin was able to safely escort the kids off of the bus. Collazo continued driving and was eventually arrested. Local news outlets later revealed that the trainee tried to escape twice from the hospital and detention center he was held in following his arrest.
“There is nothing that leads us to believe, through his counseling, through anything in his screening records, that this had anything to do with harming others,” said Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr.
Corbin had worked for Richland School District Two for five years and told GMA that “it was so evident that [the children] were precious cargo and I pretty much just had to just do whatever — to get them off the bus safe and sound.”
In mid May, Corbin received a resolution from South Carolina State Senator Mia McLeod (D) and a plaque from the school district in honor of his bravery during an incident that rattled the community.
“Been sheriff for 25 years, been a cop for 46 years, and this is the first time that I’ve ever had a call like I had this morning,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “I cannot tell you the emotions that you feel when you hear something like that, not just as the sheriff, but as a parent.”
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