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WKBW 7 News Buffalo

Heroic Buffalo girl prevents school bus from crashing

By Eileen Buckley,


A dramatic situation unfolded onboard a school bus in Buffalo Thursday morning.

A school bus driver transporting some students from the King Center Charter School suffered a severe medical emergency.

It happened at the corner of East Delavan and William Gaiter Parkway.

A 12-year-old student took a heroic step to prevent the bus from crashing.

“What made you think to react so quickly the way you did?” Buckley asked.

Aniyah McCrayer, 12, prevented her school bus from crashing.

"To save my life and to save my little sibling's life and I was like I’ve gotta save snap out of it — I’ve got to save everybody's life,” responded Aniyah McCrayer, 12.

McCrayer should be considered a hero.

The 12-year-old reacted quickly when a female First Student bus driver passed out Thursday morning in Buffalo.

“And then I hear somebody say — the bus driver fell — she passed out,” recalls McCrayer.

That's when this 7th grader from King Center Charter School jumped into action, remembering how students are taught to respond to an emergency button.

Aniyah McCrayer, 12.

“Seen a button that says stop. I stopped it, then I went up to the front and I seen the brake, so I pushed the brake and that stopped it,” described McCrayer.

“The bus was up on the curb and right before a pole that it would have hit had she not stopped the bus,” explained Eric Heard, her father.

Eric Heard, father.

Heard says his daughter called him during the emergency, and her actions stopped the bus from crashing.

“I received a phone call from her while she was on the bus,” explained Heard.

“We were just on the curb, about to hit a street light,” McCrayer described.

Aniyah McCrayer with her younger brother, Rayshawn Heard.

She said when she hit the break, it was a jarring halt for the students on the bus.

The girl’s brother, Rayshawn Heard, 8, a third-grade student, was also on the bus with a few other King Charter Students.

He pushed open the emergency doors.

The whole ordeal left the children shaken.

Rayshawn Heard, 8.

“And we just shook and we were scared,” responded McCrayer.

When Buffalo Fire responded just before 7:40 a.m. Thursday, the bus was on the side of the street with an unresponsive driver on the bus floor.

Rescuers had to force their way into the bus to remove the driver, for firefighters to perform life-saving measures at the scene.

“She was on the floor,” McCrayer recalled. “I’m just like — oh my God what just happened — I’m traumatized.”

The driver was taken to ECMC. Due to privacy issues, we do not have information on the driver’s condition. In a statement, First Student wrote:

Our driver is a long-term and experienced employee with a strong driving record. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family as she receives medical care. We’re happy that there were no injuries to students. The incident is currently under internal review.
Family discusses the emergency.

Heard said it was a very chaotic scene when he arrived.

“It was horrific,” expressed Heard.

McCrayer says she was too shook up to go on to school.

For students who were later transported to school, including her brother, a school counselor and nurse were on hand to help them with any mental health issues they may have had from their experience.

“It’s kind of like scary. I don't want to get on the bus no more,” replied McCrayer.

The children's father couldn't be more proud of his kids.

Family embrace.

“Words can't express it — I believe she was very heroic as well as my eight-year-old son for, you know, for opening up the emergency doors — allowing the kids to get off the bus safely, so I'm a very, very proud dad right now,” reflected Heard.

Heard said he believes there should be school aides on buses, but realizes school districts are facing a national bus driver shortages.

“Just for the safety of the kids,” remarked Heard

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