Students steer school bus to safety after driver suffers heart attack

Some students are being praised as heroes for steering a school bus to safety after the driver suffered a heart attack and later died.

The Topsham Police Department in Maine said around 7:30 a.m. Monday the school bus operator was "believed to have experienced a medical event that left him incapacitated." The incident happened as the bus traveled east on Route 201 towards the Cathance River Bridge.

Authorities said 14 middle and high school students were on board.

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Police said at least two students grabbed the wheel and applied the brakes, bringing the bus to a stop on the side of the road. A third student attempted CPR while another student called 911. Several other students exited the bus and waived down passersby. 

First responders arrived on the scene and attempted to revive 77-year-old Arthur McDougall. They said he died that afternoon at Maine Medical Center. 

His wife, Diane, issued a statement thanking all of the students, citizens and first responders who helped her husband saying, "It was overwhelming to hear of the efforts that were taken by those involved."

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Arthur McDougall," authorities said in a Facebook post. 

According to News Center Maine, none of the students were injured, and the bus itself was not damaged. Other buses took the students to their respective schools.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.