Jasper County School District honors two heroes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Jasper County School District honors two heroes

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JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) -

The Jasper County School District honored two men who saved the lives of their students when the school bus they were riding in crashed last month.

Both men don't see themselves as heroes but rather ordinary citizens who were in the right place at the right time.

With humility and gratitude, Louis Smith and Recco Kinlaw accepted their "Behind the Scene" Hero awards from the Jasper County School District.

The award was the furthest thing from their minds back on May 16th when they saw this school bus crash after hitting a tree with students onboard.

"It's something I'll never forget," said Recco Kinlaw, who was waiting outside for a ride to work when he noticed how fast it was going.

"Blew my shirt a little bit, I was looking at my phone texting and I happened to look up, saw the bus going off the right hand side of the road," said Kinlaw.

He thought the bus driver would ease up on the gas pedal but before he knew it, it crashed on its side.

Kinlaw then tried calling 911 before jumping in to help Smith pull the children out as the bus filled up with smoke.

"It was something I'd want someone to do for my child, I didn't think about myself at the time, I was just thinking about the safety of those children," he said.  

"That's our future, children are our future," added Louis Smith, who says that he didn't realize that three of his nieces and one nephew were on that bus at first.

Since then, he's become more alert every time he walks down the road.

"It was a close call because I had JUST left the mailbox," he said.

Tonight, both men gushed at the idea of being 'heroes.'

"I just feel like…any ordinary citizen doing my job…protecting human beings," said Smith.  

But that's exactly how the district sees them.

"These two men put their lives on the line, they put aside their personal safety to help these children and the bus driver get off the bus safely," said Shellie Murdaugh, PIO for the Jasper County School District.   

Tonight, two ordinary, humble men became heroes in the eyes of many for their courageous efforts.

South Carolina Highway Patrol charged the driver, Lacharles Singleton, with driving too fast for conditions.

He remains on unpaid administrative leave until the district finishes its investigation.

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