WATCH: Hero bus driver saves wandering toddler from busy street
Gresham, Oregon – He may not want to be called a hero, but why not, he did the right thing and it’s hard not to give him that title.
“Please don’t call me a hero,” bus operator Bill Clark said. “I’m not a hero. I just did what anyone should do.”
Paul Craig – (KPTV) — A TriMet bus driver came to an abrupt halt on a busy Gresham street after spotting a little boy walking dangerously close to the road.
The whole thing was caught on surveillance video just released by the transit agency.
Bill Clark was driving a Line 20 bus westbound on Northeast Division Street at about 8:15 a.m. Friday.
He saw the child, barefoot and wearing only a diaper and T-shirt, walking perilously close to the road. He quickly stopped, took the boy’s hand, brought him onto the bus and called police.
He gave the boy some hot chocolate and an oatmeal raisin cookie until workers from the Department of Human Services arrived.
The boy did not respond to Clark until he said the magic word.
“I asked him if he wanted some hot chocolate, and when I said chocolate, he lit up and said, ‘chocolate!’” Clark said.
Clark reported the situation to TriMet’s operation command center and was advised to drive to the Gresham Central Transit Center a few blocks away, since the bus was blocking traffic.
The 2-year-old boy named James was eventually reunited with his father, who had called police to report the child missing.
Police said the man works a late shift and was sleeping when the boy wandered away from their apartment. The child’s mother had already gone to work, according to officers.
DHS workers instructed the parents to install child locks to prevent the situation from happening again.
Transit police submitted a commendation for Clark. However, the driver told Fox 12 he does not want anyone calling him a hero.