Richland Two school bus driver honored following hijacking incident

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RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WSPA) — Richland School District Two honored the bus driver who was transporting students to Forest Lake Elementary when the bus was hijacked on May 6.

In a release from the school district, they said Kenneth Corbin’s “calm demeanor helped de-escalate a dangerous situation and exemplified the training re received through a Safe Pupil Training course.”

On May 6, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office said a Fort Jackson Army trainee was arrested after leaving the base and hijacking a school bus. The suspect, 23-year-old Jovan Collazo, is charged with 19 counts of kidnapping charges.

Someone called the sheriff’s office about a man attempting to flag down cars on I-77. Lott said after the trainee didn’t get picked up on the interstate, he noticed some students were waiting at a bus stop on Percival Road.

After all of the Forest Lake Elementary School students got onto the bus, the trainee got on the bus with his rifle and told the driver he did not want to hurt them. He also told the driver to take him to the next town, Lott said.

The bus driver started driving, and the trainee brought all of the students to the front of the bus, Lott said. The students started asking the trainee several questions.

The trainee got frustrated and then made the driver and the 18 elementary school students get off of the bus.

“You can just imagine they were scared to death,” Lott said. “I’ll give the bus driver credit. He kept his cool. He didn’t overreact. … His main concern was those kids and he did his job.”

The trainee drove the bus for a few miles before abandoning the bus. Lott said he left the rifle on the bus. Collazo was arrested shortly thereafter without incident.

The recognition ceremony for Corbin was held at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation.

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