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Scottsdale middle schoolers jump into action to save school bus driver’s life

Cocopah Middle School students (from left) Luca Montemore, Johnny Ward and Jacob McDonald,...
Cocopah Middle School students (from left) Luca Montemore, Johnny Ward and Jacob McDonald, jumped into action when their bus driver fell ill on Friday, Oct. 1.(AZ Family)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:12 AM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) -- They are sixth-grade boys who’ve been friends for years, growing up and playing baseball together. Nothing could have prepared Johnny Ward, Luca Montemore and Jacob McDonald for what they faced on the bus ride to school Friday morning, Oct. 1.

The 11-year-olds were on the bus headed to Cocopah Middle School in Scottsdale when their driver suddenly pulled over and looked distressed. She was sweating, had trouble breathing and was about to pass out.

Instead of running back to their seats or getting off the bus, the brave students jumped into action and ran over to help. “I was like, ‘Do you want me to call 911? Are you OK?’” said Montemore. “She shook her head no, that she wasn’t OK. I asked her, ‘Should I call 911?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah,’ so I called 911.”

While Montemore was on the phone with 911, McDonald was getting their exact location on his iPhone. Ward was asked to call the driver’s mother in case she didn’t make it. “The bus driver told me to call her mom on her personal cell phone and tell her if she didn’t survive, that she loved her,” said Ward. “That was kind of emotional for me.”

Paramedics arrived within minutes, then rushed the bus driver to a nearby hospital. Details of her medical condition have not been released, but Arizona’s Family has learned she’s at home recovering and doing better.

Cocopah Middle School principal Nick Noonen said he is extremely proud of his students. “I overheard one of the boys saying it was just the right thing to do, and they took action when it was needed,” said Noonen. “To say they jumped into a scary situation is quite an understatement.”

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