Berkeley County school bus driver saved choking child last fall

Berkeley County News

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – A Berkeley County school bus driver is being hailed a hero after saving a student’s life.

The bus driver, Dottie Hilleary, said she was just doing what any other bus driver would do.

“I’m retired. Been retired for about five years and knew that they needed bus drivers and I thought well that would be a fun thing since I love children,” recalled Hilleary.

Known by her students as Miss. Dottie, she retired after a career in technology. But began driving a bus at Westview Middle School at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.

“It’s been fun, it’s been fun,” she said,

On November 23rd it went from fun to very serious.

“All at once the children started screaming,” she recalled.

A little girl was choking.

“I went back there, and by the grace of God I felt calm, and she couldn’t talk,” she said. “I encouraged her up and put my arms around her and did the Heimlich; she seemed to be better then. I asked her if her throat was clear and it was.”

She continued: “I really didn’t even think about it the only thing I could do was get back to driving the bus and so I didn’t think that much of it, I guess. I just didn’t think of it as a life-saving moment.”

“You know, I just see it as all of the bus drivers here they do this all the time- I don’t see that that’s anything special.”

She is so glad she became a bus driver.

“It’s actually fun. I’m getting to know some of the kids, and they are all very, very special,” she said.

All Berkeley County bus drivers go through training in how to deal with medical emergencies like choking incidents.

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