Bruce (WQOW) - Being a defensive driver can even apply when the vehicle isn't moving, and some kids may be alive right now because of it.
A school bus driver from Bruce had little time to react when a repeat drunk driver passed the bus one day last month. What the bus driver did may have saved lives.
Bruce School District bus driver, Kimberly Lincoln, was one of three to receive an award from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and State Patrol.
"The way I think about it all, I was just doing my job" says bus driver Kimberly Lincoln.
Last month, she was stopped outside a home when she saw a car getting ready to pass the bus.
Lincoln says, "The children were standing in the stairwell getting ready to get off and I see him coming up and I shut the door so they couldn't get off. Thank God it turned out the way it did."
Sandi Popowich couldn't be more thankful to Kimberly, whose quick reaction, saved her two young boys.
"I could tell her "thank you" every ten minutes and it's not enough, she saved them" says Sandi Popowich.
Sandi could only imagine the worst as she stood on this side of the street and watched the car go around the right side of the school bus, blocking her view from what happened.
"I was numb walking across the front because I though they were going to be laying there and when I saw the door shut and she opened it and they came out, I just... Relief" says Popowich.
Sandi followed the driver until she had the license plate number. That helped officers locate the driver. Sandi also received an award.
"I saw the boys were ok and it kind of snapped me out of it and I thought, get that plate number, because that guy should not be driving" Popowich says.
Bennitt Bade of Bloomer also received an award for his actions after finding the driver passed out, still in his vehicle.
"As soon as I walked up I could smell the strong odor of alcohol and I reached in and put the car in park and grabbed the keys and he woke up and I called 911" says Bennitt Bade.
Captain Jeffrey Frenette, Commanding Officer of the State Patrol says, "Our awards are really just to recognize those heroes, those people that actually engage in an activity that makes a difference and these three people they really did. They engaged in an activity that stopped potential for tragedy."
All three received the Traveling Trooper award.
The man driving the car, Michael Malone from Altoona, has been charged with his 11th offense drunk driving.
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