South Florida bus driver honored for saving children from burning school bus

Fire occurred Jan. 31 in Tamarac

TAMARAC, Fla. – A South Florida bus driver received a special honor Wednesday, a month after she saved more than a dozen children from a burning school bus in Tamarac.

The images from that day are unforgettable as the bright yellow school bus was engulfed in flames.

All 16 children aboard the bus were evacuated safely thanks to their fast-acting driver, Sylvia Carivau.

"I'm a school bus driver, so this is what I do. I take care of my little ones. I love them," Carivau said.

Carivau was driving along Northwest 61st Street on Jan. 31 when she noticed a smoky smell coming from the engine.

When the bus stopped running, Carivau said she immediately jumped into action, rushing her students straight off the burning bus.

"I opened the door, and I told my students to grab their stuff and evacuate," she said.

Witnesses credited Carivau for her quick thinking.

"The driver was smart enough to pull them all out at once," one witness said.

Tamarac city officials agreed, which is why they decided to honor the driver with a special proclamation at Wednesday's city council meeting -- a show of support for the woman who many say helped save lives.

"It was just a duty call. I did what I was trained to do, and I would indeed do it again," Carivau said. 

In addition to the city of Tamarac, the Broward Sheriff’s Office also took part in Wednesday's ceremony.

Carivau still insists she was just doing what her job required and that she'd do anything for the students she looks after.

About the Author: