‘Courage On Wheels’: New Orleans School Bus Driver Save Eight Students Before Bus Catches Fire


Kia Rousseve, a 28-year-old school bus driver in New Orleans, is being hailed as a hero after saving eight children’s lives when her bus caught fire.

Rousseve was driving through the Central City neighborhood on her way to Lafayette Academy on March 13 when she noticed smoke and realized the bus was losing power, according to NOLA.com and  CBS affiliate WWL-TV.

“I seen the smoke, and then a little girl came and told me the bus was on fire underneath,” Rousseve told WVUE-TV.

Acting swiftly, Rousseve calmly evacuated the kindergarten through eighth-grade students off the bus to safety. “I turned the bus off and got off,” Rousseve told the station. “When I got off, the bus blew up. All I heard was, ‘Boom, boom, boom.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, the bus blew up.’”

Rousseve has been a bus driver for three years and has worked for Community Academies of New Orleans (CANO) since February. Reflecting on the incident, Rousseve credited her maternal instinct for guiding her actions, emphasizing that she knew something was wrong and immediately took action to ensure the children’s safety.

“My instinct is like, ‘No, this is not normal.’ My instinct was like, ‘Pull the bus over,’ “Rousseve told NOLA.com.

Her supervisor praised Rousseve’s composure and quick thinking, describing her actions as heroic and ensuring no child was harmed during the ordeal. CANO also commended Rousseve’s courage, calling her actions “courage on wheels,” according to WVUE-TV.

Despite the terrifying experience, Rousseve expressed pride in her ability to save lives and remain calm under pressure. She is grateful for the opportunity to protect the children entrusted to her care.

“I feel great about saving other kids’ lives and saving my life,” Rousseve told WVUE-TV.

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