The Henryville, Ind., elementary school students had been released early on March 2 due to the threat of severe weather conditions, according to WTHR. Angel Perry was transporting them home when a level EF4 tornado touched the ground.
"I stopped the bus for a second, put my hands down and said, 'Dear Lord, what do I do?'" Perry told ABC's local station RTV6. Knowing the bus would be no match for the 200 mph winds, Perry decided to get the kids to the shelter of the school just three miles away.
Her quick-thinking was caught on tape by the bus' CCTV camera. You can hear her trying to keep the kids calm as she turns the bus around to outrun the tornado.
"A tornado is on the ground guys. Quiet! The tornado is on the ground," Perry says in the recording. "If you got a book to put over your head, do it. Get in the middle."
Perry successfully navigated the bus to the school. She immediately began off-loading the children, counting so as not to leave anyone behind.
"Everybody stay together. All our group together," her voice says in the recording, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.. Come on! Come on! Ten, eleven, go! Go! Go!"
Just minutes after the children reached the safety of the building, winds lifted the 36,000-pound bus and slammed into the side of a diner across the road, Fox 4 reports.
Perry is one of many bus drivers who've gone above and beyond in their duty to protect the kids in their care. One helped children off a burning bus in North Carolina, while another got a potential hijacker to relinquish his weapon.