Hometown Hero--Patricia Benninghoff - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/08/04

Hometown Hero--Patricia Benninghoff

Patricia Benninghoff Patricia Benninghoff

Its pretty quiet on Wild Heron Road now, but last week it was a pretty scary scene. A Chatham County school bus driver lost control of her bus and it flipped over and hit a utility pole. Fortunately Patricia Benninghoff happened to be traveling right behind the bus.

"My first thought was to get to the bus as quickly as I could to help anyone that was on it," she told us.

There were more that a dozen students on the bus when it turned over, and there were power lines in contact with the bus. Without hesitation, she went straight to the bus and started pulling the dazed teenagers from the bus.

"My biggest fear was there was smoke and gas coming out of the back of the bus and I feared it would catch fire and the kids that were in there would perish," she said. "Horrible to think about."

For Benninghoff, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. "I've lived in Richmond Hill 19 years and I've been that route five times home."

Some of the students suffered minor injures. They were treated and released. But there was a potential for disaster.

"If it happened again, I'd be willing to do it again and would like to think someone else would be willing to do it," Benninghoff said. "I've got a child too and she could very well be on that bus."

For stopping, helping and making a difference, Patricia Benninghoff is this week's WTOC Hometown Hero.

If you'd like to nominate a Hometown Hero, you can drop us a line at the station: PO Box 8086, Savannah, GA 31412, or email  rwallace@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com

 

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