It's every school bus driver's worst nightmare: Renita Smith was driving a bus full of elementary school kids and had just made her third or fourth stop of the day when her vehicle's dashboard started beeping. Then she saw smoke. So she stopped the bus and looked in her rear-view mirror—and that's when she saw the flames.
"I opened my door, took off my seat belt, and I got my babies off that bus," the mom-of-two told NBC News.
Running back into the burning vehicle multiple times, Smith pulled each and every one of the 20 terrified children to safety, then made one last sweep to make sure each child was accounted for. "I ran back onto the bus to make sure that every seat was clear," she explained.
Talk about grace under fire! Thanks to Smith's courageous and selfless reaction, none of the kids on board were hurt. Don't call her a hero, though.
"I have people calling me a hero, and I say that I'm just a mom," she told NBC. "When I'm driving these babies, I'm not just holding this wheel. These are my babies."
Amazing! No surprise, Smith's story started going viral after one of the student's parents gave her a shoutout on Facebook.
"A big THANK YOU to our school bus driver Renita [sic] Smith who just saved 20 elementary school kids from a bus fire that completely destroyed the bus," the parent wrote. "Not only did Renita take each one of the 20 kids from the bus one by one, but also went into the empty bus again to check if everyone was out, while it was still burning. 'I am a mom of two kids. It's my job to save them' she told me."
That may be true, but we still think she's a hero.