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Brothers Connor and Seamus Collins did the unthinkable on March 14, 2022. They acted quickly to stop the school bus they were on, preventing it from crashing and causing numerous injuries to those on board. They are being recognized in plenty of ways, including by Robert Kraft, the owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots team.
Students Act Fast to Prevent a Worse Outcome
A bus carrying 14 middle school and high school students on it was lucky to have the boys on board at the time of the accident. The bus had just left Mount Ararat High School. The 77-year old bus driver, Arthur McDougall, suddenly slumped over at the steering wheel. The two teens heard the thud of his movements and watched as he fell to the ground. As that happened, the bus veered off the road and right into a ditch. At that moment, Connor took action, running to the front of the bus to grab the wheel. He then slammed on the breaks to stop the car. His brother Seamus called 911 to get help.
Connor’s actions were deliberate. He purposedly steered the bus to a stop on an embankment, helping it to avoid crashing. Along with others on the bus, the boys quickly tried to provide help and then flagged down passing vehicles to get help. While the bus driver later passed away at the hospital, the boys are credited with preventing a worse accident from occurring.
Kraft to Say Thank You
Robert Kraft learned of the heroics of the boys and wanted to do his part in helping to thank them and show them how much their actions meant to others in the community. In a Zoom call with them, he told the boys, “You guys really called an audible on that bus.” It just so happens that the Patriots are the brother’s favorite football team.
Kraft continued, “You’re very brave and special, and we respected and admired what you both did, how courageous you both were. So, we were wondering if we could invite you to the opening game this year and get you tickets?” The boys were very grateful and accepted the offer. It will be their first ever Patriots game at the Gillette Stadium.
The Boys Have Had a Lot of Attention
While the call from Kraft was one that both the boys enjoyed and are sure not to forget, they have been surrounded by a lot of media attention since the incident occurred. They even commented that when they took action, they did not do so to get attention but to do what was necessary in a time of need.
Connor is just learning to drive, having just obtained his driver’s permit. Jumping behind a bus’s wheel wasn’t something he expected to do.
During the incident, the boys worked hard to do their part. Seamus states he tried to calm everyone down, flag down cars, and call 911 at the same time, but it was difficult. They credit the lessons they learned from their parents as the reason they took action. Seamus notes, “They taught us to be leaders.”
Helping Someone Who Was Just Helping Out Himself
Arthur, the bus driver, was well respected and appreciated by the boys and other students. He had stepped up to help drive the bus a month into the school year when there was a bus driver shortage. He was trying to help his community when he did so. He didn’t need the money but wanted to fill a need in the community.
After the incident, there was word that Arthur had a pulse, but even after the use of an external defibrillator, he ultimately passed away at the hospital. His wife, Diane McDougall, was very appreciative of the community’s support. She also noted that he was an avid Patriots fan himself. She also noted that Arthur’s sole goal was to get the kids to and from school safely. These two boys helped to make that possible one last time.
Now, Connor and Seamus will be thanked and honored on the first day of the Patriot’s season with special tickets to the game, thanks to the recognition of Robert Kraft. The boys are sure to honor Arthur’s memory during that game as well.
Kraft is noted for his many contributions to philanthropic endeavors and his numerous instances of community support. After learning of the events on March 14, he wanted to reach out to the boys to thank them in this small way.