A log truck driver in Arkansas is being hailed as a hero for his efforts last week in evading a collision with a school bus.
According to local news channel KARK, the event happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, in Ola, Arkansas.
Paul Wiggins, a log truck driver, was on his way to Russellville when severe fog developed on Highway 7.
According to Yell County police:
…the loaded log truck was traveling north when he hit a dense fog bank with poor visibility. He started to slow down when he saw a stopped school bus in front of him with its warning lights flashing. The school bus was picking up children. The driver instantly made the decision to swerve hard to the left.
Wiggins went off the road and into a ditch.
Wiggins was stuck inside the crushed truck for approximately an hour before being rescued.
“I asked them if I missed the bus and they said ‘yes, you missed it,’ and that was a great, big relief,” Wiggins said after being rescued from the wrecked big rig.
Wiggins was just slightly hurt, with bruises on his arms and legs. According to a GoFundMe page set up for him, he worked as an independent truck driver and his truck is most likely totaled.
There were no injuries among the about 45 students on the school bus.
“I couldn’t live with myself if I murdered someone’s children or other people,” Wiggins said.
“Some of my students looked at me and said, ‘Mr. Kenneth, that man’s a hero, he saved our lives,’ and I replied he absolutely did,” bus driver Kenneth Hill recalled.
According to Yell County police, “[Wiggins’] heroic actions kept him from rear-ending the school bus and perhaps hurting, or worse, the children on the bus.” When his heavy log truck rolled over and the cab came to rest against trees, he missed the bus and placed his own life in danger. We appreciate the driver’s heroic acts in risking his life to save the lives of those children.”