"If it was my kid on the bus I would've wanted one of the bus drivers to act the same way that I did," Imunek Williams said.
When the bus she was driving caught fire on May 31, an eight months pregnant Milwaukee school bus driver heroically jumped into action. More than 30 pupils who were on board when the blaze started were reportedly saved, thanks to Imunek Williams. “I just feel like I had to stay calm. Like, it was my job to stay calm,” Williams told NBC Milwaukee affiliate WTMJ.
Just a few blocks before arriving at her destination, the Milwaukee Academy of Science, Williams detected a strange odor and smoke. She attempted to contact dispatch, but things didn't go as planned. “I could barely get what I was trying to say out because the smoke was hitting me in the face and my eyes so I was just like, ‘OK forget the radio. I’ll just get the kids off the bus,’” she said.
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Williams credits her pregnancy gut instincts for the actions she undertook next. "I think that's when it was like my mommy instincts kicked in really fast and I was just like OK come on mom let's do it, let's get off the bus," Williams said.
Williams, who is eight months pregnant, claims that she double-checked the bus to ensure that no one was left behind. "I was the last person off once I get off, I turned around and I just seen flames," said Williams. "I wanted to make sure that I was safe, baby was safe and you know if it was my kid on the bus I would've wanted one of the bus drivers to act the same way that I did."
A Milwaukee school bus driver who is eight months pregnant came to the rescue when her vehicle caught fire.— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 3, 2023
The driver, Imunek Williams, says she saved more than 30 students who were on board when the blaze broke out. https://t.co/2IhgUNCJA9
Williams inhaled smoke but is recovering well. Although she had been trained for emergencies on the job, she never imagined she would need to use that training. "Everyone's okay so that just makes me really happy," said Williams.
A day later, she thinks it's difficult to comprehend what occurred, but it demonstrates how quickly life can change. "It's a good feeling that we were actually able to come to school and come to work the next day," said Williams.
Milwaukee Police say they are looking into what happened. “A bus started to smoke and caught fire,” the police department said in a statement to TODAY. “The driver and the occupants were all able to exit. No injuries were reported; however, the driver was transported to a local hospital as a precaution. The cause of the fire is under investigation; however, does not appear to be suspicious at this time.”
Milwaukee school bus driver rescues 37 children seconds before bus bursts into flames. (Video: WISN) pic.twitter.com/jb1eBKpG6U— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 4, 2023
Cover Image Source: YouTube | TMJ4 News