Detroit, MI (WXYZ) - A quick reaction by Kay Chatman behind the wheel of her bus likely saved lives and now she's being called a hero.
Chatman was the lead driver of a caravan of busses carrying the Southfield Jayhawks youth football team to a tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 17 when they came upon a jackknifed tanker truck on southbound interstate 75 in Monroe County.
Chatman managed to avoid a head-on collision. The bus did side-swipe the tanker but the 57-year bus driver was able to keep the bus under control and stop safely along the freeway.
“Most folks say, I see my life before my eyes," said Chatman. "I was like, I got to figure out how to do this without tearing up the bus and getting these kids hurt."
Chatman received stitches for facial cuts from flying glass. She also suffered a bruised lung from the impact of the crash. At least two players and one parent suffered minor injuries.
The team continued on to Knoxville, Tennessee—where they won five games to bring a championship trophy back to Southfield for the second year in a row.
“I’m just glad I was able to have a situation turn out good," Chatman said. "We hear too many times of the kids getting hurt in a bus accident and I didn’t want that to happen. I wanted them safe."
The Jayhawks have dedicated their championship to Chatman. They plan to invite her to attend the organization's season-ending banquet. next month.
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