An Oregon bus driver is being hailed as a hero this week, after picking up an unexpected passenger last Friday: A barefoot toddler who'd strayed too close to a busy intersection.
Security cameras onboard the TriMet bus in Portland, Ore., captured the entire incident as driver Bill Clark slammed the brakes Friday morning, then darted into the road to retrieve a barefoot child in a diaper and T-shirt.
"It was just a corner of my eye thing," Clark told Oregon Live, laughing off the idea that he's a hero. "I just caught a glimpse of him, stopped the bus and got out to see if his parents were around ... They weren't. So, I picked him up and took him back to the garage."
KPTV reports Clark called the Department of Human Services, then gave the boy a cup of hot chocolate and an oatmeal raisin cookie. "When I said chocolate, he lit up and said, 'Chocolate!'" Clark told the station.
Police ultimately reunited the 2-year-old boy, James, with his father, who had also called police and reported the child missing. The father works a night shift and had fallen asleep when the boy wandered away, and James' mother had already left for work.
In 2011, a different TriMet driver also saved a roaming toddler who'd strayed into traffic. In that instance, the driver purposefully obstructed a lane of traffic using his bus, while a passenger hopped off and grabbed the 2-year-old girl. The girl was reunited with her mother shortly thereafter.