Girls praised for help amid chaos
When a crash left their school bus littered with fallen pupils and schoolbags, two Kaiapoi High School pupils went beyond the call of duty.
Gabrielle Barlow, whose 7-year-old daughter, Saskia, was on the bus, said year 13 pupils Rebecca Bailey and Briar Guyan were amazing in the way they administered first aid and cared for her child.
Rebecca and Briar, both 17, were at the back of the school bus on Tuesday afternoon. Saskia, on her way home from St Patrick's School, was at the front of the bus.
They were among 63 pupils travelling north to Woodend.
The pupils watched in shock as a car suddenly pulled out in front of the bus, which was travelling about 80kmh, at the overbridge in Lineside Rd about 3.20pm.
The driver tried to avoid a crash but hit the back of the car, leaving the bus aisle strewn with pupils and schoolbags.
"About 15 people were standing up and went straight over," Briar said.
"One girl went into the windscreen and hit her head."
Briar and Rebecca quickly set to work checking that pupils who had fallen over were OK.
The girl who had hit her head had suffered suspected concussion, but most pupils suffered only minor injuries.
Rebecca found Saskia outside the bus.
Saskia knew her mother's cellphone number and the girls rang her.
"They went above and beyond," Barlow said.
"Those young girls took care of Saskia. I don't even know them."
They waited with Saskia until Barlow's friend was able to reach her a short time later.
Their school's physical education course and their jobs as surf lifeguards came in handy.
"We all did a first-aid course last year," Briar said.