Bus Driver Says Kids Badgered Hijacker With Questions Until He Gave Up

by Kristina Johnson
Good Morning America/Youtube

The driver says the hijacker was no match for a bus full of kids with a lot of questions

A terrifying situation unfolded on a South Carolina school bus earlier this month when a suspect wielding a gun hijacked the vehicle with 18 scared kids on board. Those students eventually made it off safely, and the bus driver has an absolutely amazing theory as to why — a theory that will make perfect sense to any parent who’s patiently answered a seemingly endless series of whats, wheres, and whys from their child.

“At the very end, the kids were the ones that actually got the gentleman off the bus. They pretty much had my back,” driver Kenneth Corbin explained in an appearance on Good Morning America. So what did these helpless, terrified children do that helped force a gun-toting hijacker to let them go unharmed? According to Corbin, they simply badgered him with questions.

“It seemed to frustrate him because his main objective was to get to the next town,” Corbin said. The suspect, 23-year old Jovan Collazo, was reportedly trying to flee a military base where had been training. “In the end, I think we only rode about four miles and he just got frustrated with the questions and told me to stop the bus and just get off.”

Corbin said Collazo made the mistake of forcing all the kids to move and sit up at the front of the bus, so he could keep an eye on them. That’s when the onslaught of questions really picked up. The kids demanded to know if Collazo was a soldier, where he was taking them (which I have to assume led to at least one or “are we there yet?”), whether he was going to hurt them, or hurt their bus driver. I can’t help but be in absolute awe of these kids, because I’m pretty sure I would have been crying in the fetal position, not interrogating the guy with the massive gun. Kids are amazing.

Corbin felt the questions started to unnerve Collazo. “From that point, he seemed to sense more questions coming and it seemed like I guess something clicked in his mind and he said ‘enough, enough already,'” he said. The gunman then told him to just “stop the bus right here and get off.”

The parents of those children are never going to be able to get away with a “because I said so” ever again, not when their kids now know that peppering adults with questions can actually be life-saving. And their parents probably won’t even mind anymore, knowing how close the situation might have been to turning into an absolute tragedy.

Collazo is now facing a slew of charges including kidnapping and armed robbery. Corbin has been hailed as a hero for staying calm through the ordeal, but the modest driver says it was his “precious cargo,” those 18 brave kids, that are the real heroes.