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Originally published Monday, April 9, 2012 at 10:46 PM

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Milton kids stop school bus after driver stricken

Police are praising Milton, Wash., middle school students who safely stopped a school bus Monday morning after the driver was stricken, apparently with a heart attack.

The Associated Press

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MILTON, Wash. —

Police are praising Milton, Wash., middle school students who safely stopped a school bus Monday morning after the driver was stricken, apparently with a heart attack.

The bus was on its way to Surprise Lake Middle School when the driver slumped over and passed out.

One student, 13-year-old Jeremy Wuitschick (WIT-shick) grabbed the wheel, steered the bus toward the curb, pulled the key from the ignition and started chest compressions on the driver. The boy told KING-TV, "I was just thinking `I don't want to die.'" Another student identified as Johnny Wood hurried to help with the chest compressions. Other students called 911.

Milton police quickly showed up and the 12 students were escorted off the bus.

Fife Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Jeff Short told The News Tribune the 43-year-old driver was in "grave condition" at a hospital.

Short says middle school students who ride the bus go over emergency procedures several times annually, learning what to do if a driver is incapacitated.

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