School bus driver finds toddler on the side of US 19
Jim Letos was on his way to Palm Harbor Middle School on Feb. 11 when he saw a toddler, unattended, on the side of US 19. The school bus driver pulled over and called 911.
The Pinellas school board is honoring Letos at its meeting Tuesday for his "heroic deed."
Letos brought the toddler onto the school bus, where students helped him care for the child until police arrived. When the parents came out of a nearby motel looking for the child, Letos assured them the toddler was safe but waited until the police arrived to confirm the parents' identities before handing over the child.
"Mr. Letos maintained control of the situation by remaining calm and professional," Superintendent Michael Grego wrote in a memo to the school board.
Letos has been driving school buses for 19 years, according to the memo.
"In this brief moment of time, Mr. Letos also served as a role model to the students on the bus in the way he reacted to this situation," Grego wrote. "He could have easily driven on to his next bus stop and ignored this situation as so many other drivers were doing at the time."