Quick thinking and even quicker action saved the lives of over 100 students and their chaperones.
Mark Linn, the band director for the Parkway North Vikings marching band, from St. Louis, Missouri, was on his way with 108 students and 20 chaperones to Orlando for a 3 day spring break cruise to the Bahamas when something terrifying and totally unexpected happened. The driver of the bus they were traveling on passed out behind the wheel, going 70 miles per hour, through a construction zone on a Georgia interstate. Linn told KSDK.com,
The chaperone behind me said “Mark, something’s wrong with the driver.” So I got up and he was slumped over the wheel. At that time I tried to shake him, thinking he had just fallen asleep. We hit pylons and traffic cones and barrels and skidded off a guard rail once. I grabbed the wheel and tried to get his foot off the accelerator then put my leg between his and hit the brake and guided it to a stop.
The driver, who had not fallen asleep but was actually unconscious for a short time, was checked out by one of the parents who also happened to be a doctor and after it was determined that he was OK the band continued on their way. But Linn’s students began to spread the amazing story of what their “hero director” did for them. One student wrote on Facebook, “You probably won’t read about it in the papers, and it probably won’t make any headlines, but my high school band teacher Mark Linn prevented what could have been a headline making catastrophe.”
Linn told KSDK.com,”To be quite frank, it was pretty scary. Because I was concerned not only for our driver, but for our kids, and there were a couple of seconds there I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out okay. But thank god I was able to wrestle the wheel away from him and get the bus stopped.” Thanks to Linn’s quick action during the crisis a true disaster was averted, and the group was able to go on their spring break cruise.