Woman stops MTA bus after driver passes out behind the wheel, Janai Stafford called a hero
Bus was full of students
5:33 PM, Feb 27, 2013
8:42 AM, Feb 28, 2013
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - She had just come from the Giant on Reisterstown Road standing alone in the rain at the bus stop waiting on the "59" when the driver of the "18" bus came to Janai Stafford's rescue.
"He's like, 'I'm riding down the street. You're the only one out here. I don't want you out here. I'm going to make a left at Old Court. Do you want to go that far?' I'm like, 'Sure.' I got on the bus, and it was like a bus full of Jewish boys... a bus full and they were so polite and happy and I was like, 'Heeyyy!'" recounted Stafford.
Janai made small talk with the students as the bus travelled south towards the Baltimore Beltway when the driver alerted her that something was wrong.
"He's just like, 'Something's not right. I don't feel good, and I was just like, 'Okay. You good?' He's like, 'No. I don't feel good and just slumped over on the wheel and passes out. In an instant, I just grabbed the wheel and I put my foot on his foot. I didn't even know what foot to... I don't drive... like I didn't know what foot to put on... it's a bus so it just so happened to be the right foot."
Janai says she steered the bus to the side of the road and brought it to a stop coming to the driver's rescue before calling 911 for help.
You could say her actions came from maternal instincts (knowing there was a bus full of kids) or even a simple matter of self-preservation, but she chooses to call it divine intervention.
"Everybody's just like, 'You're a hero,' and I'm like, 'No. I'm not.' It was instinct. That was all God. I wasn't even supposed to be on the bus."
*The Maryland Transit Administration says the unidentified driver was treated and released from a local hospital.
He will also have to undergo a thorough medical and fitness exam before returning to service.