Long Island bus driver carries wheelchair-bound woman out of burning vehicle

Long Island bus driver carries wheelchair-bound woman out of burning vehicle
Friday, June 10, 2016, 8:36 AM
A hero Long Island bus driver carried a wheelchair-bound woman to safety after his paratransit bus burst into flames, officials said Friday.

Driver Jean Jeune, 46, was taking Cindy Marsh, 54, and her health care aide home after a physical therapy session when smoke began filling their Able-ride bus in Plainview Thursday morning.

Moments later, the bus' engine burst into flames.

Realizing that the vehicle's wheelchair lift had died, Jeune scooped up March, who has spinal weakness and narrowing of the spinal canal, and carried her off the bus.

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March's aide made it off the bus unharmed, officials said.

Bus driver Jean Jeune saved wheelchair-bound passenger Cindy March when their paratransit bus caught fire in Plainview, Long Island, on Thursday. (PLAINVIEW FIRE DEPARTMENT)
"I don't know what I would've done because I wasn't getting down those steps,'' March, of Farmingdale, told Newsday. "(Jeune) didn't think twice. ... and he carried me down. I said, 'Thank you very much, you're my hero, give me a hug.' "

The bus and the wheelchair were engulfed by flames within 20 minutes. But Jeune didn't think he did anything heroic.

"For me, it was the only thing I could do — get her out," said Jeune, who has driven for the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE, for nine months. "Forget the wheelchair."

With News Wire Services