Mayville– A Sherman Central School District school bus was destroyed in the early morning hours on January 4 after experiencing mechanical problems and erupting into flames. Twelve students were safely removed from the bus before it caught fire.
CSEA member and bus driver David Tenpas, an employee with the Sherman Central School District, is being credited with safely removing students from the bus before it erupted into flames. Tempas has been a CSEA member since 2015.
“My training, experience and common sense just kicked in,” said Tenpas. “I did what I had to do.”
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred on Parker Road in the village of Mayville around 7:15 a.m. Mike Ginestre, Sherman Central School District Superintendent, said Tenpas noticed the vehicle’s brakes were experiencing problems and immediately pulled the vehicle over.
“He noticed the brakes were running hot,” Ginestre told the CSEA Work Force. “He’s a talented driver and did an excellent job getting the students off and getting them safely to another bus.”
Ginestre said a second school bus was summoned shortly after problems with the brakes were noticed. Students were outside for only three minutes in single digit temperatures before they were picked up and taken to school.
Not long after students left the scene, the bus became engulfed by flames, Ginestre said. Firefighters with the Stanley Hose Company, many who are CSEA members as well, were called to extinguish the bus which became a total loss.
Parents of students on the bus were directly contacted by the school district and notified of the incident. Ginestre said a district-wide message regarding the mishap was then sent out to parents and caregivers later in the day.
“Ensuring students safety is our number one priority,” said Ginestre. “I just want to commend the bus driver and others for being there and doing the right thing.”