Student injured in bus crash talks about the moments after the driver fell asleep at the wheel

Posted at 9:47 AM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 11:47:10-05

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    Ogemaw County, Michigan (WNEM) — Nathaniel Phillips was on the bus last Friday morning.

“I was just sleeping on the bus, minding my own business thinking it’s a normal day, and then all a sudden I was flipped out of my seat!”

Nathaniel Phillips is describing the terrifying moment when his substitute school bus driver fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into a tree.

“I woke up and was like, what the heck happened?”

It happened early Friday in Ogemaw County. The bus was from the West Branch-Rose City School District. All 16 students aboard were taken to the hospital.

“He had an abrasion on his left leg,” said Eric Phillips, Nathaniel’s dad. “It ran the full length from the knee to the ankle, and a cut on his chin and we discovered later he had some bruises on his body.”

Unlike some of the other kids, Nathaniel’s injuries were not serious. His dad says Nathaniel has autism, and he sometimes has a hard time expressing his feelings. He worries this experience has traumatized his son, saying he was struggling over the weekend.

“Falling asleep and he had a lot of difficulties when he was asleep. He was doing a lot of things he doesn’t normally do, like moaning and talking, and things like that,” said Eric.

Investigators have not said why the bus driver fell asleep, but Nathaniel has a message for him.

“Don’t drive while sleeping.”

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