Preston Middle School Student Credited With Saving Bus Driver's Life

Ava Boenig, 12, was on the school bus last week when her bus driver suffered a medical emergency.

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A middle school student is being credited with saving her bus driver's life.

Ava Boenig, 12, is a seventh-grade student at Preston Plains Middle School. She describes last Thursday as a "normal" bus ride when, all of a sudden, the driver stopped unexpectedly.

"The bus came to a stop and he was screaming in pain, 'Someone call 911,'” Ava said.

Her bus driver told her that his chest felt tight. Ava did not hesitate. She said she yelled to her friends, "I got it," and immediately called for help.

"I guess I didn't really think about it in the moment," said Ava.

NBC Connecticut obtained a copy of the emergency call from Ledyard Emergency Communications. Ava remains calm and steady, telling the dispatcher where they are, while her bus driver can be heard screaming in the background.

"I couldn't be more proud," said Becky Boenig, Ava's mother.

Within minutes of Ava's call, first responders were on the scene.

"I feel like I did the right thing," said Ava.

Her actions may have been remarkable, but they were no shock to her mom.

"It doesn't surprise me at all," said Becky Boenig.

That is because, ever since she was a young child, Ava has wanted to be a state police trooper.

“I don’t know I guess it is just an urge inside of me," said Ava.

Little did Ava know, as we interviewed her two state troopers were waiting in the wings to meet her. They were so impressed with her actions that they wanted to tell her in person. The troopers told Ava that they have no doubt she will be their colleague one day.

“Those leadership skills that she already portrayed at 12 years old is amazing and just to grow upon that," said Trooper First Class Christine Jeltema.

Before conquering the police academy, Ava still has to finish middle school, but she has made it clear that she does not need a badge to do what she loves most.

"Making a difference," said Ava.

NBC Connecticut spoke with Ava's bus driver on the phone. He said that he is recovering well and that he is extremely thankful for Ava and all of the other children on the bus that day. He looks forward to thanking them in person.

Preston Public Schools is planning a private recognition ceremony.

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