2007-05-25 / Community

Far Rockaway Youth Helps Rescue Friend After Crash

Far Rockaway Youth Helps Rescue Friend After Crash 10 Year-Old Assists Fellow Student After School Minibus Collides With Stolen Vehicle
By Miriam Rosenberg

Tyra Gibbs, 10, helped rescue a fellow student following a school bus crash earlier this month. Tyra Gibbs, 10, helped rescue a fellow student following a school bus crash earlier this month. In the aftermath of a school bus crash, a 10-year-old Far Rockaway girl acted with the maturity of someone twice her age as she helped rescue another student from the bus that had turned over on its side.

Tyra Gibbs, a student at the Lowell School in Bayside, was with her classmates on May 2 when a motorist driving a stolen car crashed into the minibus carrying the students back to their school, located in the Bayside Jewish Center.

As the bus lay on its side following the collision in Douglaston, Queens, Gibbs helped remove a younger child, who was hanging upside down trapped in her seatbelt.

"There was glass everywhere and she was going to fall," said Tyra, who explained she held her friend Elizabeth until help arrived, and then assisted in removing the girl. "She was hanging upside down and I held her up, like a ball, to keep her from falling on the glass."

Students on the bus ranged in age from 8 to 14 years of age.

While Tyra still has stitches in her arms and a brace around her neck, she returned to school the following week.

Tyra's father, Walter Gibbs, called it a miracle that things didn't turn out worse.

"The [school] van was hit full speed by a car pursued by the cops," said Gibbs. "It was pushed across the road into a tree and over on its side."

Linda McCall, Tyra's mother, proudly spoke about her daughter's heroics.

"She's a great kid anyway," said McCall. "She told Channel 2 she was just thinking about helping her friend."

According to its website, the Lowell School in Bayside and its high school in Flushing are accredited for students who have learning disabilities, are speech impaired, emotionally disturbed or have other health impairments.

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