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San Jose School Bus Driver Saves Student From Flames

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An eyewitness took this photo of a school bus that caught fire near Sylvandale Middle School in San Jose on November 27, 2012. (Franklin-McKinley School District)

An eyewitness took this photo of a school bus that caught fire near Sylvandale Middle School in San Jose on November 27, 2012. (Franklin-McKinley School District)

SAN JOSE (CBS 5) — A South Bay school bus driver is being credited for saving a disabled student’s life when her bus burst into flames.

According to officials, the bus caught fire near Sylvandale Middle School in San Jose Tuesday morning. The bus had one student on board, a 13-year-old girl strapped to an electric wheelchair.

Officials said driver Wilma Acosta tried to lower the hydraulic gate to escape with the girl, but the power was cut. Acosta unbuckled the student and carried her to safety.

“She did everything perfect. Above and beyond,” Brent Hull, Transportation Manager for the Franklin-McKinley School District told CBS 5. “And when I asked her, ‘What were you thinking?’ she said, ‘I wasn’t, I was just thinking about this precious child that just had to get off the bus.’”

Acosta said she did not want to talk on camera.

No one was hurt in the fire, but the bus was destroyed. Firefighters were able to save the student’s wheelchair.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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