Image source: pixabay via pexels.com
Last week, a 15-year-old Powhatan High School student named Brendan Martin got a rude awakening from his school bus nap. He took his usual front seat in the bus and settled down for a snooze. So far, so usual. But this time he got a rude awakening. From an actual real-life deer. And it was nothing like Bambi.
“I was really confused because I was trying to sleep and I woke up to something on my back," he said. "I realized it was a deer and was just very confused because I’d never seen a deer actually jump through a windshield and then land." - Brendan Martin
The deer appeared on the left side of the bus, took a flying leap, and crashed through the bus's front windscreen straight onto the sleeping student. I'm assuming he woke up pretty fast.
Thankfully, the bus driver stayed perfectly calm, and although there was some damage to the bus (wipers, mirrors, windscreen) none of the 14 school students on the bus suffered any injury. Neither did the deer - when the bus driver opened the door, the troublemaking animal scuttled away, apparently without a care in the world or any awareness of the fact he would now be starring on a viral video. (Transport staff for Powhatan County Schools later released footage of the incident from the bus's security camera, which gained plenty of social media traction) .
Brendan Martin claims he'll happily take the same front seat in the school bus again, as he doesn't think the same thing would happen again. It's brave of him - I don't think I'd ever sleep on a bus again if I'd had to share my seat with a deer.
Most of the news focus, though, has been on Brendan Martin and his rude awakening from his school bus nap. Understandable, because the deer did land on him. But the more I read about it, the more my sympathy is totally with the bus driver in this whole drama.
I mean, I've been startled by rabbits and pheasants on the road before, and even without hitting them, it's been a flustering situation with plenty of screaming and swearing on my part. To have a full-grown deer bust through the windscreen, land on someone in the bus, and then flail around on the floor creating a commotion would test most people's driving skills.
But the Powhatan County driver stayed calm, turned on the hazard lights, and brought the bus to a safe stop while the deer danced in the aisle. He also got the deer safely off the bus without damage to any of the students or even to the deer. That's the most impressive thing about this whole situation. (Let's face it, in a TV drama show, he'd totally lose control of the bus and steer it off the road).
If I were the Powhatan County Transport team, as well as the news shout-out for his bravery, I'd be giving that driver a medal the size of a dustbin lid. Or maybe just a pay rise.