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EXCLUSIVE: Tyler ISD students who prevented bus crash speak with CBS19

Cooper Cordell and Grace Von Eschenbach were at the back of the bus and sprung into action.

TYLER, Texas — Tyler ISD students are being hailed as heroes after stepping in and stopping their school bus from crashing Thursday morning.

The bus hit a curb shortly after leaving Tyler ISD's Career and Technology Center.

“I thought nothing of it, because it's a really sharp turn and a lot of the bus drivers hit that curb,” said sophomore Cooper Cordell.

When the bus hit another curb and ran a red light, Cordell knew something was wrong.

“Thankfully, we had a couple of people go up to the front end, stop the bus,” Cordell said.

Senior Grace Von Eschenbach rushed from the back of the bus.

“When I got up there, someone was trying to help take over the wheel. I just knew that I needed to get to the driver," said Von Eschenbach.

Von Eschenbach realized the driver was having a medical emergency and tried to take over the wheel and stop the bus.

“I grabbed her hand and she was very forceful on the wheel," said Von Eschenbach. "I just said, 'It's okay, let me do it,' and just tried to get that bus over and get her to stop driving as soon as possible.”

Cordell was on the phone with 911.

“I told them that our bus had run a red light, and then our bus driver just didn't seem all there, they might be having some medical issues," said Cordell. "And then she told me to stay calm.”

Von Eschenbach and the other students were able to pull the bus over and Cordell used his Boy Scout training to make sure the driver wasn’t having a stroke.

"You have them lift up both their arms, and they should be able to lift both their arms equal height, as well as you should get them to say a sentence because people having a stroke tend to have slurred words,” Cordell said.

Students filed off the back of the bus confused and concerned, but, thankfully, unharmed.

“It was a very rough situation and scary one, but it makes you know, count your blessings,” Von Eschenbach said.

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