Boy who steered school bus away from tree honored

David Albers/Staff 
 - Eleven-year-old Jackson Bonar, of Naples, watches first-responders work the scene of a school bus accident he was involved in after the driver suffered a heart attack along Weber Boulevard on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Naples.  The Oakridge Middle School student said when the driver slumped over, he took control of the steering wheel and pressed the brake pedal, bringing the bus to a stop as it hit a fence.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

David Albers/Staff - Eleven-year-old Jackson Bonar, of Naples, watches first-responders work the scene of a school bus accident he was involved in after the driver suffered a heart attack along Weber Boulevard on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in Naples. The Oakridge Middle School student said when the driver slumped over, he took control of the steering wheel and pressed the brake pedal, bringing the bus to a stop as it hit a fence.

A Collier County sixth-grader was recognized Tuesday by the Florida Department of Education for steering a school bus away from a tree after the driver was incapacitated by a medical problem.

On Sept. 18, Oakridge Middle School student Jackson Bonar was the last child on the bus when the driver, Robert Kelly, slumped over on the wheel. Unable to reach the brake, Bonar grabbed the wheel and steered the bus into a chain link fence.

"Because of this brave boy's actions, no one was hurt," Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said Tuesday.

Neither Bonar nor Kelly was injured. Kelly is expected to recover from his condition but will need to be medically examined before receiving clearance to drive again, said David Ogilvie, transportation director for Collier District Schools.

Bonar has since been nominated for the Collier County Sheriff's Office's "Do the Right Thing" award and on Oct. 12 will be awarded a certificate by the Golden Gate Fire Department and the Florida Highway Patrol.

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