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School Bus Jumped Curb and Was Heading Straight for Elementary Students. But Their Principal Saved Them — and Gave Her Life Doing So.


"We lost a great educator today."

Photo credit: Shutterstock

An Indianapolis elementary school principal was killed after pushing several students out of the way of an oncoming school bus Tuesday afternoon.

Susan Jordan, the principal of Amy Beverland Elementary School, died from injuries sustained during the 2:45 p.m. collision during the school's dismissal that left two 10-year-old students hospitalized when the bus unexpectedly lurched forward, according to the Associated Press. The hospitalized children's injuries were serious, though not life-threatening, and neither the bus driver nor the 25 children on board required medical treatment.

Although the bus passed its Jan. 22 inspection conducted by Indiana State Police, circumstances surrounding the bus's sudden movement from the dismissal lineup that led it to jump the curb remain unclear, according to the Indianapolis Star.

"At some point, the stationary bus lurched forward and jumped the curb. The bus was not moving at the time directly before it jumped the curb," Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Reith told the AP.

The female bus driver, whose name has not been publicly released, will undergo a blood test, which is the standard procedure for all auto collisions that involve fatalities, the AP noted. The bus driver's statement says that she did not know why the vehicle accelerated during a standstill when it did, but "in the instant that the accident occurred," she watched as Jordan shoved the students out of the bus's path.

"This is a great example of an educational leader in our state and our city...Just a phenomenal individual that truly cared about children. This is a tragic situation that we have. This loss is going to ripple across our district of 15,000 students," Lawrence Township Schools Superintendent Shawn Smith said during a news conference, the AP reported.

Jordan, 69, had been the principal at Amy Beverland for 22 years, according to the Indianapolis Star.

"We lost a great educator today," Smith said during the news conference, the Indianapolis Star reported. "Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about a legend."

Jordan is the second Indianapolis-area school principal to die during an auto crash in the past three months. Last October, a rush-hour crash killed Norris Ncube, 52, the principal of the Indianapolis Junior Academy, a Seventh-day Adventist private school, as he was driving five children to school, according to the Indianapolis Star. Two of the children, including Ncube's 12-year-old son, as well as the driver of the SUV that struck them, died.

Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter

Front-page image via Shutterstock

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