Bus driver called a hero after I-44 crash

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The bus driver behind the wheel of Thursday's bus crash on Interstate 44 is being called a hero. Onboard that bus were 13 students from the Parkway School District heading to Hanna Woods Elementary.

Family members say Lavitta Conrad Woolridge suffered some cuts and bruises and is good condition. She is still undergoing x-rays at St. John's Mercy Hospital

The Missouri Highway Patrol credited the bus driver for keeping the bus upright when it crashed down the embankment sending her and 12 students to the hospital. They say her actions helped save lives.

The bus was heading west on Interstate 44 in Kirkwood when a car ahead of it struck a median wall. The driver of the red Pontiac admitted he was speeding when he tried to pass a truck. The driver of that Pontiac spun toward the bus. The bus driver tried to avoid it and hit a guard rail and down a embankment and into a deep ditch in a wooded area

At least 12 elementary students from Hanna Woods Elementary in Ballwin were taken to the hospital. Most of the injuries were minor. One child was ejected from the back emergency door and is doing fine. However, emergency workers had to help Woolridrige out the bus because she was trapped.

Authorities and family members are praising Woolridge and credit her for keeping that bus upright. They say she did some good driving that helped save lives.

The driver of the red Pontiac was on his way to work. He was speeding and will be ticketed for traffic law violations. Most of the children were able to walk away from the crash on their own. The bus driver is expected to make a full recovery.

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