Susan Moore is a full-time substitute bus driver, though she has been behind the wheel for 13 years. She says she and the 40 students on board the bus first started to smell something burning, then saw smoke begin to enter the bus through the windshield defrost vents.
"It was enough that I knew something was not right," said Moore.
She pulled over just off West Road and Bridge Park Drive where it was safe and immediately had the kids exit. Moore says only after she then went outside did she see flames coming from under the engine.
"This bus is not going anywhere! Its about to go up!" she said.
Moore called for help. The bus was engulfed in flames before fire fighters arrived. School officials made Moore and the students move further from the scene so they didn't even see how intense the fire was till later.
"Holy cow. I was ever so glad I got those kids off when I did. You never know how fast its gonna go. You really don't," she said.
The school district calls Moore a hero for keeping a level head and remembering her training.
She says she was just doing her job. On the way back to school Friday, Moore said she and the kids talked about the fire: what happened and how they survived. Still, middle schoolers will apparently be middle schoolers. The hugs and "thank you's" were kept to a minimum.
"They don't do that!" Moore joked.
Investigators are still working to determine what caused the fire. In addition to the investigation at the school district level, a school district representative says the NTSD will conduct its own investigation. Cy-Fair ISD says the bus was 8-10 years old and had been maintained regularly according to district schedule. null