Fifth-Grader Rescues Kids After School Bus Carrying 27 of His Classmates Plunges into Alligator-Infested Lake

When a school bus transporting 27 elementary school kids plunged into the water, Nicholas Sierra sprung into action. He knew his responsibility was to make sure everyone got out of this alive. The catch? He was only ten years old.

Ordinary Day

As Nicholas and his peers waited outside Mary E. Bryant Elementary School for their bus home, the afternoon sun beat down on them. It was 85º in Tampa. Nicholas’ electric-lime fluorescent safety belt was slung over his shoulder…


Bus 72 pulled into its usual spot in front of the school. The kids piled on one by one, happy to be heading home on a sweltering Thursday. They waved hello to the bus driver, Lenoir, who had moved back to Tampa to be close to his family. Soon, their lives would all be in danger.

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