If it had not been for one school bus driver’s honking, a Bartow County, Georgia high schooler may have met a seriously tragic fate.
Dashcam footage from Shannon Banks’s bus shows the moment that a truck sped past the bus stop sign and nearly hit a 15-year-old girl who was trying to cross the street and board the bus. It’s only when Banks repeatedly lays on the horn that the girl is able to notice the oncoming truck and narrowly avoid it.
According to the Bartow County sheriff, Banks “saved that girl’s life in my opinion,” adding that “it would have been a serious, serious injury” had the girl not gotten out of the way in time.
“I had just motioned her across, then I checked my back mirror again, and as soon as I saw that car, I honked the horn,” Banks said in a press conference following the incident. “I was in total shock.”
Banks added, “I think about if I hadn’t got it in time, if I saw her hit, it would have been a traumatic experience for all of us, even the students on my bus that were there.”
“If you see the school bus you need to stop at the stop sign, no matter what. It scares me. I have kids of my own, and nobody should have to worry about their kids crossing the street to the school bus. But we do.”
While Shannon Banks was treated like a hero following the near-collision in Bartow County, the truck driver who almost caused it, 42-year-old Blake Lockwood, was arrested and faces several charges, including reckless driving and failure to stop for a school bus.
“I think he just didn’t care that morning,” said Sharon Vaughan, the girl’s mother.
“He didn’t care about the bus sign being up or nothing. Didn’t care about the child.”