Heavy Winds Flip Tennessee School Bus with Driver Still Inside

The bus driver said he’s thankful no children were on board when the storms hit. 

A Tennessee bus driver was in for the ride of his life when heavy winds caused his school bus to turn onto its side while he sat inside.

On Monday morning, Don Robinson was warming up his bus outside his home before pick up when a storm rolled in seemingly out of nowhere. The heavy winds were part of a storm system that caused six tornadoes in Middle Tennessee.

"It just all of a sudden, the rain come real hard and then the wind, then the bus started shaking right then. And next thing I know, I thought this bus is fixing to roll over," Robinson told Fox 17 WZTV. "Then it went on and rolled over."

Robinson, who said he's been involved in a car accident before, compared the experience to an amusement park-style ride at a county fair. Without time to fasten his seat belt, he gripped the steering wheel and held on as tightly as he could.

"It's just like riding one of these rides at a fair, you know it slings you out and you just ride it," he said. "It wasn't bad. I just rode it. That's all I could do."

After the winds died down, Robinson realized he was trapped inside. His grandson, who lives with him in on a farm in rural Trousdale County, was able to help him escape using the emergency exit roof hatch.

Once free, Robinson saw the extent of the damage caused by the winds. In addition to being turned on its side, the bus was also rotated in a different direction. An overturned camper laid partially atop it. Robinson's property and farm sustained significant damage. Several horses died, the siding was ripped off his house, and trees were split and strewn throughout the yard.

Despite the potentially life-threatening experience, Robinson escaped unharmed and said he's just glad to be alive.

"I thank the good Lord for being here," he said. "A couple of my horses died. I got a lot of damage around. It's just what it is. It's just part of life, I guess. I just thank the good Lord I'm still here."

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