Three students in Meigs County — two high schoolers and a middle schooler — were recently honored for their actions during last month’s school bus wreck in the county.
MJ Vaughn of Meigs County Middle School was on board the bus when the wreck happened and he said he didn’t think about what needed to be done.
“What happened is what was going through my mind,” Vaughn said. “I got up and saw all that was going on and I immediately jumped in to help ... It was just instinct.”
He stated that he doesn’t have much more to say about the incident other than “it was just terrible.”
“I know people say that it gets better, which it does, but it takes a while,” Vaughn expressed.
Meigs Middle Principal Ronnie Woods had a great deal of praise for Vaughn and his act.
“He is a very humble kid and he doesn’t seek the accolades, but they are all well deserved,” Woods said, referring to Vaughn’s actions from that day.
The two high school students who acted during the incident are TJ Hardin and Cheyenne Lawson.
The duo were also on the bus at the time of the wreck that killed two people and both said instincts took over for them as well.
“Whenever I realized what happened, my mind had instantly jumped to my brother and multiple cousins that were sitting up front and I instantly ran to them,” said Hardin. “I just made sure to get them off of the bus as soon as possible.”
Lawson agreed with Hardin’s sentiment of focusing on getting everyone off of the bus.
“In my head, I wasn’t really sure what was going on,” Lawson recalled. “All I knew was that we needed to get everybody off of the bus as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Lawson believes that it was her natural instincts that guided her and that the incident reinforced her desire to seek a career in the medical field.
The trio of students have received a lot of praise for their actions in helping the other students who were on the bus.
“At first, it was a little bit overwhelming (the praise) because, personally, I didn’t think what I did was as big as it was,” said Lawson, as Hardin agreed with her sentiment. “We were just doing something that the teachers have always told us to do and just take care of the younger ones and that is what we did.”
Assistant Director of Schools Carmen Choate said it spoke well of the students to act the way they did.
“They brought joy to my heart. They put themselves aside and truly showed their true character and put others first,” she expressed. “That brings joy to me because that shows me that our next generation has a spirit like that.”