Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas honors school bus driver for stopping to aid toddler

Jim Letos was driving his school bus to Palm Harbor Middle last month when he saw something curious on the side of US 19: a small child, unattended.

On Tuesday, the Pinellas County School Board honored Letos for stopping to help.

"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," Superintendent Michael Grego wrote in a memo. "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."

Instead, Letos pulled the bus over and called 911. Then he brought the child onto the school bus, where students helped him care for the toddler until police arrived.

When the parents came out of a nearby motel looking for the child, Letos told them the toddler was safe, but waited until police arrived and confirmed the parents' identities before handing the child over.

Letos has been driving buses for Pinellas schools for 19 years.

Two school bus assistants also were recognized at Tuesday's school board meeting for their quick action when a car collided with their school bus on Feb. 11. Emma Frazier Redmond and Livondra Dandy sought help for the school bus's injured driver, and checked on students and the elderly woman who had been driving the car.

Contact Lisa Gartner at [email protected]

Pinellas honors school bus driver for stopping to aid toddler 03/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 4:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  2. Study: Pollution kills 9 million a year, costs $4.6 trillion


    NEW DELHI — Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

    New Delhi’s landmark India Gate, a war memorial, is engulfed in morning smog on Friday.
  3. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  4. Paul Rodgers replacing ZZ Top on Ribfest 2017 lineup


    In looking to replace the ailing ZZ Top, Ribfest found some good company in Bad Company.

    Paul Rodgers
  5. Some teachers allege 'hostile and racially charged' workplace at Pinellas Park Middle


    PINELLAS PARK — Two black teachers at Pinellas Park Middle have requested transfers out of the school, alleging the work environment there has become "hostile and racially charged."

    Pinellas Park Middle School at 6940 70th Ave N, where some black teachers have alleged they were treated with hostility by colleagues after starting a tutoring program for black students. Just 22 percent of black students were proficient in English language arts in last spring's state tests. Two black teachers have asked to be transfered, according to a letter from two local chapters of the NAACP. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]