Hero students steer school bus to safety after driver suffers heart attack

This photo provided by the Topsham Police Department shows a school bus that students steered to safety after the 77-year-old male driver suffered a medical event that left him incapacitated, Monday, March 14, 2022, in Topsham, Maine. The driver, Art

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 driver 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.

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 got out of the bus and waived down other drivers for help.

First responders arrived on the scene and attempted to revive 77-year-old Arthur McDougall. EMS took him to Maine Medical Center but he died later in the day.

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.