RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — The California Highway Patrol Wednesday presented the Southern California Bus Driver of the Year Award to a local man who saved the lives of two students last year.
Ricardo Ramos, 25, from Student Transportation Inc. received the plaque for rescuing two students who were swept under his bus during a flash flood on Aug. 29, 2013.
Jose, an 8-year-old third-grader, had just hopped off the bus and was walking home with his grandmother and sister when a wall of flood water swept him away.
The boy’s backpack dragged him down under the water.
Ramos, who was stopped at a school pick-up location and was helping children cross the street, pulled Jose from the torrent of water and brought him to safety.
“There was nobody to pick me up, but the bus driver came and put me in the street,” Jose said.
“Honestly, I didn’t even think. I just threw my stop sign because I was crossing them, I just threw my stop sign and just ran after them,” Ramos said.
Through a translator, Jose’s grandmother said her grandson might not be alive if it wasn’t for Ramos.
“She was very afraid because she saw that he was going to drown,” the translator said.
“Mr. Ramos displayed exceptional bravery and heroism beyond the normal call of duty,” CHP Capt. Amanda Snowden said.
Ramos, however, insists he was just doing his job.
“They’re my kids. They’re the kids that I transport every day, so just keeping them safe is kind of our goal here, I don’t know, it was just an impulse,” he said.