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Bus driver Shirley Brown receives flowers from one of the students she protected from a car Feb. 26.

Bus driver recognized for quick thinking

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Farmington, 55024
Farmington Independent
651-463-7730 customer support
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Quick thinking during bad weather has earned a Farmington school bus driver some recognition.

On March 23 the District 192 School Board recognized Marschall Lines bus driver Shirley Brown for actions they say saved the life of a group of elementary school students.

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Brown, who is heavily involved in teaching students bus safety, was dropping off a group of kids Feb. 26 and the kids were in the process of crossing in front of the bus. There was a snowstorm that day -- school had let out early -- and visibility was poor. So when she saw a car that didn't look like it was going to stop she did what bus drivers are trained to do. She honked the horn. The kids did what they were supposed to do, too. They stopped and made eye contact.

The driver of the car was the only one who didn't do the right thing. The car went by without stopping for the bus' stop arm or flashing lights.

A mother saw the incident and wrote a letter to Farmington mayor Todd Larson. Larson passed the letter on to the school district.

"If not for Shirley's reaction and the kids' response it could have been disastrous," said Marschall Lines manager Tom Severson. "It's one of those things that was closer than we'd ever want to happen, but everybody played their role perfectly. The kids did a great job of listening to the way we communicate with them when they're outside the bus."

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