Florida police are reportedly praising a school bus driver who allegedly saved the life of a hit-and-run victim last week, per Fox 35 Orlando.
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More Information About The Incident
According to the outlet, the incident occurred on the evening of Monday, October 23. Witnesses reportedly recalled seeing a woman lying in the street near the intersection of West Lakeview Avenue and Morin Street. The woman has since been identified as Abigail “Michelle” Stevens.
The outlet reports that a Lakes County Schools bus driver named Stacey Hatcher noticed the woman while driving to her bus depot to end her shift, per PEOPLE.
Hatcher reportedly called 911, reporting “a body laying in the road.”
“I thought it was a prank for Halloween, you know, that someone would do to put someone in the road to kind of scare someone which it did scare me,” Hatcher explained per PEOPLE. “So when I saw her I immediately put my bus in park and I brightened my lights and what made me know it was a real body — I saw blood running alongside the road where she was laying and I immediately called 911.”
Then, Hatcher “immediately” took action.
“She immediately stopped the bus,” Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri explained per Fox 35 Orlando.
Additionally, Capri shared that Hatcher “did a great job by positioning her school bus to block” the woman from oncoming traffic. Fox 35 Orlando reports that Capri referred to Hatcher as a “hero.”
“To make that split-second decision, take that bus and block that lane, that’s pretty amazing,” Police Chief Capri continued.
Furthermore, Hatcher remained with the woman until authorities arrived at the scene to airlift Stevens to a hospital.
“She was definitely at the right place at the right time, and she saved the human life that day. She’s a hero and she should be recognized as that,” Capri added, per PEOPLE.
The Lake County School District has also praised Hatcher for her heroic actions.
IN THE NEWS: Bus driver Stacey Hatcher used her school bus to shield a hit-and-run victim from oncoming traffic in Eustis on Monday night, possibly saving the person's life. Learn more about her thoughtful actions in Inside Lake: https://t.co/rXecmJMCHO pic.twitter.com/YaZAwl5EIO
— Lake County Schools (@lakeschools) October 26, 2023
Details On The Florida Victim’s Recovery Thus Far
According to Fox 35 Orlando, Steven is now in the intensive care unit at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Additionally, the woman has been paralyzed from the waist down and undergone multiple surgeries for over “20 different broken bones.”
Steven’s grandmother, Cathy Stevens, has reportedly commented on her grandaughter’s dire condition.
“She may or may not live. It’s 50-50,” Steven explained, per Fox 35 Orlando.
Additionally, Cathy Stevens shared her gratitude for Stacy Hatcher’s actions.
“If I could talk to her and meet her, I would thank her a thousand times,” Steven reportedly added.
More Information Regarding The Police’s Search For The Suspect
According to the Eustis Police Department, the hit-and-run suspect remains at large. Authorities are reportedly searching for a white car.
Stevens’ grandmother has shared a message for the person allegedly responsible for her granddaughter’s injuries.
“Please turn yourself in. My baby is fighting for her life,” Cathy Stevens said, per Fox 35 Orlando.