Reporting Aristea Brady
LAKE ELMO, Minn. (WCCO) — A 12-year-old’s quick thinking likely helped save a bus full of children when the driver blacked out.
When Rana Kraftson noticed her bus driver was unconscious, she ran to the front of the bus, and pressed her hand on the brake pedal.
WCCO-TV talked to the girl who humbly says she did what anyone would’ve done.
“Of course I realized it could have been a much more serious situation,” said Torry Kraftson, the 12-year-old’s father.
Like they do every Tuesday in the winter months, last week, nine seventh graders pulled out of the Oak-Land Junior High School parking lot to go Nordic ski practice.
“He started to shake, and then all of a sudden he fell like a brick off of his seat, and then I stood up and started screaming, ‘He fainted!’” Rana Kraftson said.
Rana Kraftson noticed they were heading straight for a snow bank.
“When Rana ran up there and she started screaming, I think everyone just kind of got this adrenaline rush and just like, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s happening?’” said Emma Anderson, 12.
Rana Kraftson said that’s when she had a quick moment of clarity — “That I had to stop the bus, or else we’re going to hit a tree,” she said.
She knew she had to get to the brake pedal.
“His leg was still in the area that the breaks are in, so I had to move his leg,” she said.
She first pushed the accelerator, and when the kids yelled to her to push the other pedal, the bus came to a stop.
Rana Kraftson then picked up the bus driver’s radio and asked for help, and soon after, faculty came to their aid.
Rana Kraftson’s friends and her father say they are proud of her for stopping what could’ve been a dangerous situation.
“She’s got a good head on her shoulders, and she gets a lot of that from her mom,” Torry Kraftson said.
The skiers said that the bus driver suffered a stroke, but has pretty much recovered, aside from a broken arm.
The seventh graders on the Nordic ski team say they recently sent him a Christmas card.