"He definitely deserves it," said Miranda Essing. "He's a hero."
She speaks from personal experience. She was sitting on the third row of the bus, when students smelled smoke.
"We thought it smelled like bar-b-q. The driver pulled over, then we saw some smoke. He didn't freak out. He calmly ordered us off the bus quickly," she said.
The students stood in a parking lot, watching the smoke spread. They were loaded onto another bus and had driven away by the time the flames shot from beneath the hood. A few seconds later, the front of the bus exploded.
"When I saw that video," Miranda said, " I couldn't believe it. I called my parents to tell them I loved them. You never know what can happen."
The district hasn't yet identified the driver, in advance of the recognition he'll be given Monday. Miranda Essing doesn't know his name either. But she'll never forget what he did.
"I think I'll give him a gift and say thank you, cause he saved our lives," she said.
Friday afternoon, Spring Branch ISD tweeted:
Thankful for a swift-acting bus driver & a safe evacuation of riders earlier today. Bus fire is out. Everyone is safe. #CollectiveGreatness— Spring Branch ISD (@SBISD) November 20, 2015
Eyewitness News has learned he and another bus driver who responded will be honored at the district's Board of Trustees meeting Monday night.