LA MIRADA (CBSLA) — A charter bus driver is being hailed as a hero for his quick thinking that prevented a tragedy when a driver going the wrong way suddenly started heading towards the vehicle.
Dash cam footage shows the moment a driver going the opposite way approached the 30-passenger bus Gabriel Anica was driving on from Pachanga to La Mirada on the 91 Freeway express lane around 2 a.m. Friday.
“He must have missed my door by out that much,” Anica told CBS2 News Sunday, holding his hands barely a foot apart. “Just flew by, and I was like, ‘Wow.'”
Anica, who has been M Coach bus lines for two years, said most of his passengers that night were asleep at the time the video shows headlights heading towards the bus on the left lanes at a high rate of speed in Corona. Anica gently swerved into the second lane from the left median, but the errant driver also drifted into the same lane.
“I mean, he was flying, must’ve been going 90,” Anica estimated. “At the last second, I held that steering wheel tight because I knew he was gonna hit me.”
Luckily, the driver didn’t.
The video shows the car’s red taillights just feet from the right side of the bus.
The jolt of the bus woke some of the passengers, many of them Anica’s regulars he says are like family. “You know, I’m responsible for these people, and so I feel like I had to do what I had to do. Thank God I reacted the way I did,” said Anica.
“Some of them were yelling, screaming because they — I guess they fell asleep,” said Anica, who credits his years of experience and reflexes for his quick, potentially live-saving reaction.
Anica’s bosses are now calling him a hero.
M Coach said they notified the California Highway Patrol about the wrong-way driver, but it seems the person managed to get off the road without hitting anyone.