HENRYVILLE, IN (WAVE) – The school bus lodged into a diner across from Henryville High School is one of the most recognized images from the early March tornadoes.
Newly released video and audio from security cameras aboard that bus show us what happened minutes after as an EF 4 tornado sweeps in.
The images and sound will make your heart pound, but just imagine being one of the young students on board. Thanks to their heroic bus driver, who remained calm until the very end, everyone was able to make it to safety.
Minutes before the more than 30,000 pound school bus was picked up as if it weighed nothing, 11 students and their bus driver were on-board. On March 2, because of the tornado warnings, Henryville school kids were released early. Angel Perry was driving bus 211. She was in the process of taking home students, when bus radios started buzzing with funnel cloud sightings.
BUS DRIVER: I see the tornado touch down about one mile from me.
ANGEL PERRY: Oh my gosh. Tornado on the ground, guys. Quiet. Tornado's on the road. Everybody get to the middle of the bus! If you got a book to put over your head, do it.
Perry then made the decision to turn her bus around. She radioed in that they were about a minute and a half from school.
PERRY: If anybody needs to call their parents, we are going back to the school.
CHILD: I can't, I don't have my parent's number.
PERRY: We will call them when we get to school.
While on the way, Perry got a glimpse.
PERRY: There is a tornado right there guys. Look the funnel cloud.
She knew they had to act quickly.
PERRY: Guys we are just going to go as fast as we can into the school. Everybody stay together. Our group stay together. Right now, go, go, go, go. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Come on!
CHILD: Come on, come on.
PERRY: 10, 11, go, go, go!
They made it into the basement of their school, never imagining when the all clear was given, even the safe place would not be spared.
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