Amid the record-breaking rainfall in Texas on Monday, one Dallas Independent School District bus driver and her bus monitor made a heroic gesture to save two children and their father.
Simone Edmond, a DISD bus driver, and Tekendria Valentine, a bus monitor, were called by dispatch to pick up another group of children after wrapping up their typical route, the school district shared on its news hub. After arriving to discover that the students had already gone back home, Edmond changed course and headed back to the bus yard. Due to the flooding though, she and Valentine took a different route than usual.
“I’ve driven in snow, rain, sleet, but never a flood like this,” Edmond, who has been driving school buses for two decades, told KXAS, an NBC affiliate covering the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
As Edmond approach the intersection of Edd and Silver Brook roads, both women saw that two children were being carried away by rushing water from the heavy rainfall.
“Saw these kids in the middle of the street and the water just whooshes them away,” Edmond recalled. “The mom says, 'please help, please help, he’s losing his grip.' So, I pulled the bus up. They asked me to move the bus up to stop the flow of the water.”
After Edmond repositioned the bus at an angle in an attempt to slow down the water flow, the father of the children jumped into the water and was able to grab hold of his children and a tree.
Both Edmond and Valentine called the fire department, but the rain and flooding prevented officials from getting to the area.
In order to pull the family from the water themselves, Valentine used what she had on hand inside the bus to craft a makeshift rope to throw to them. She explained to DISD, “With my job as a special needs bus monitor, I have to stay vigilant and alert, so I was just doing my part.”
“There’s nothing back here besides the seatbelts that could be extended out to them,” Valentine told the NBC affiliate. “So, I just took the seatbelts off and started tying them together and trying to throw them out for them to grab.”
With the chain of seatbelts and help from multiple bystanders from the neighborhood, Edmond and Valentine were able to pull the father and his two children onto the bus from the water.
While the two have been heralded as heroes in the week since the event, they said their only goal was to save the children and father.
“I don’t really consider myself a hero,” Edmond told the school district. “I just feel like I was doing what I needed to do at the time, and if I had to, I would do it all over again.”
TODAY reached out to DISD for comment but did not hear back at the time this story was published.