Good Samaritans acted quickly to rescue bus crash victims

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BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. -- Moments after the school bus carrying Pembroke Hill students crashed on the K-7 ramp, two citizens wasted no time rushing to the aid of the injured students and the bus driver. Joe Rhoney and Jason Sheahan were actually driving to lunch, 30 minutes late, when they came across the turned over bus, minutes after the accident.

"I saw the bus on its side, and the back door popped open, I told jason, "That bus just flipped over, stop,'" said Rhoney.

The two men said they pulled the car over, jumped out and began running to the bus. While on the phone with a 911 operator, Rhoney said he jumped in the bus.

"It was pretty intense. I was just trying to calm them down, I told them I was there to help and get them off the bus," said Rhoney.

Jason Sheahan said when they first got the bus, he was thinking the worst.

"We could see kids feet hanging out the windows and my first thought was 'Oh my gosh, there's kids crushed underneath there,'" said Sheahan.

Fortunately, that wasn't the case, the windows were open with feet dangling out them. Sheahan said when they got to the bus, the girls were crying and screaming. many just calling out for their parents. One by one, the two men made sure they got all the sixth-graders off the bus. Some children were hurt more than others, but Rhoney said when he saw the driver he knew his injuries were serious.

"He looked like he was in pretty bad shape and I didn't want to move him in fear of something happening to him," said Rhoney.

Sheahan has two kids of his own, a 4th and a 5th-grader. He said he would want someone to do the same thing if his children were in danger.

"I hope that if my kids are ever in that situation, someone does take the time to help them, be there, sit with them, and reassure them. To let them know everything is going to be ok," said Sheahan.

Rhoney said he has no regrets and would do it again if he had to.

Even when first responders were on the scene, Sheahan and Rhoney continued to help with a teacher. They checked names off a list making sure every student was accounted for.

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