An Indiana principal reportedly pushed students out of the way of an oncoming bus before she herself was struck Tuesday.
Susan Jordan died at the scene after a school bus jumped a curb, killing her and injuring two children.
The bus driver told firefighters that she’s not sure why the bus jumped the curb, but that she saw Jordan push several students out of the way, according to Rita Reith with the Indianapolis Fire Department.
“What we were told, by the bus driver, in the instant that the accident occurred, she saw the principal push kids out of the way of the bus, before it hit her and killed her. She was a beloved principal at that school for 20 years, getting them loaded on the bus,” Reith told CNN.
“They just loved her,” she said. “Up to the minute she was alive, she was helping the kids.”
In an appreciation video posted to YouTube last year, students and staff at her school thanked Jordan and talked about what made her a success.
“She is everything I want to be when I grow up,” says one adult woman in the video. “She is kind. She’s caring. She’s compassionate. She’s loving. She’s sincere, and she’s a professional. She makes all of us want to be even better.”
Says another woman: “She’s the definition of wonderful.”
‘Everything was just kind of routine’
The accident Tuesday occurred at Amy Beverland Elementary School as buses were lined up for the end of the day dismissal.
“Everything was just kind of routine. At some point, the bus did jump the curb, again made contact with two of the students, hit an adult and that adult is deceased,” Reith told reporters.
She said the students, both 10, were taken to a hospital in serious condition. They are not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries.
The Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, which is near Indianapolis, announced it would not hold classes Wednesday.
The school board released a statement praising Jordan and everything she gave to her community.
“Susan was an amazing educator. She had a remarkable way of making everyone she came in contact with feel valued and important,” it read.
“She had a passion for children that is unmatched. The entire Lawrence Township Community mourns her loss and extends our sympathy to the Amy Beverland Community the multitudes of people whose lives she touched.”