Akron, Ohio, cement truck driver Jason Bucklew, 31, had just started his new job with an Akron concrete company just two weeks ago, when the brakes failed on the truck he was driving, causing him to cross an intersection, striking a bus carrying 37 students.
When Buckley realized the two were going to collide, he yanked the wheel to the right, causing the truck to roll over on its side.
It happened so fast, I was trying to get my brakes to work, and they weren’t working and then it was just, ˜boom,’ Bucklew told Fox 8 News. I looked up at the light, ˜boom,’ the bus was coming from my left.
Bucklew said he was trying to angle his truck so that he would take the brunt of the accident’s force.
If anybody was going to die that day, I wanted it to be me, not anybody else, because I’ve got four children of my own, so I know how it is with children, said Bucklew.
Bus driver June Stock told Fox 8 News that she realized the truck was not going to be able to stop in time, so she hit the bus’ accelerator and tried to beat the truck through the intersection.
The cement truck clipped the back end of the bus.
The bus driver went, did everything, I guess you say ˜textbook,’ to miss the truck, said Aaron Cole, one of the men who pulled Bucklew from the wreckage. And you know [Bucklew] sacrificed himself and the cement truck and laid it over on its side to prevent a t-bone accident and it would have really hurt a lot of kids.
Two of the children on the bus suffered minor injuries, and Bucklew suffered a broken collar bone.
Investigators are working to determine what caused the truck’s brakes to fail.