A school bus driver acting as a crossing guard rescued two children swept away in a flash flood that hammered Riverside Thursday afternoon. Colleen Williams reports from the newsroom for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.
A school bus driver rescued two children swept away in a flash flood that hammered Riverside Thursday afternoon.
Ricardo Ramos, 24, was acting as a crossing guard near Massachusetts Avenue and Topaz Drive when a sudden downpour began.
A surge of flood water rushed toward him – and a grandmother feet away who was crossing the street with a boy and a girl who just left Ramos' bus.
The grandmother tried to jump onto the sidewalk to escape the water, but tripped, letting go of her grandson, Ramos said.
"I just threw my stop sign and went after the little boy," said Ramos, who had some 50 children from Highland Elementary School still on the bus.
The 24-year-old bus driver scooped up the boy – who by this time, Ramos said, had been dragged about three cars’ lengths away.
But as soon as he moved the boy to safety, the grandmother let go of the little girl and the scary situation started all over again, he said.
Ramos rescued both children. He estimated the water was about 3 feet deep.
"It all just happened so fast," he said. "It’s something you never expect."
Ramos said many have been hailing him as a hero after his rescue, but he said he doesn’t feel heroic.
"I just feel like I just reacted to something that I hope everybody would’ve in the same situation," he said. "I’m just glad I was able to react to this situation instead of just choke, or just stall, or just be in shock."
The Inland Empire has been hammered by wild weather two days in a row this week. On Thursday, Riverside received the brunt of the suprise storms -- with feet of water trapping drivers, and messy mud flows stranding residents.
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