BERRIEN CO., GA (WALB) - Officials have identified the Berrien County bus driver who died Wednesday morning.
According to the Berrien County Superintendent, Dr. Lilli Drawdy, Wayne Fender was the driver. Drawdy said Fender suffered what appeared to be a heart attack while finishing his route.
There were 11 students on his bus when he pulled off the road on Barney Parker Road, but no students were injured.
Those students were picked up by their parents or taken to school by another bus, and they met with a school nurse and counselor on their arrival.
"What caught my attention was the flashing ambulance lights. I thought something else was going on, I didn't actually realize it was the bus," said parent Kimberly Boyd. "Being the parent that gets the phone call, 'Hey, your kid's been in a wreck on the bus.' No. I don't want to wake up to that," Boyd said.
Luckily she did not get that phone call. Boyd says she doesn't let her son ride the bus, because the dirt road just seems too dangerous.
"It's more the roads and the condition. Like the dirt roads out here. They just get so muddy that you slip and slide on them," said Boyd.
Officials say it appears that Fender suffered a heart attack and pulled the bus off the road to ensure the students safety. Fender recently celebrated 50 years as a Berrien County bus driver.
In a statement to WALB, the superintendent said: "Over the years, he has touched the lives of many children and families. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him."
Boyd says Mr. Fender drove her bus when she was in school.
"As much as I don't trust buses, he was actually one of the best drivers I've known," Boyd.